The deadline for entry in The Australian Innovation Challenge awards has been extended until 11 August.

The awards, now in their fourth year, are helping to drive breakthroughs to commercialisation or adoption. This year, there is a Young Innovators category open to students under the age of 21 and carries a $5000 cash prize.

Details of the awards, online entry form, category definitions, judging criteria, entry procedure, rules and stories on past winners, are available on the awards website.

The five professional categories open to specialists (including scientists, engineers, technologists, educators and innovators in community services) are:

  • Environment, Agriculture and Food 
  • Community Services: Health, Education and Public Services 
  • Minerals and Energy 
  • Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure 
  • ICT

Professional category winners will receive prizes of $5000. The overall winner will receive a further $25,000.

A sixth category, Backyard Innovation, is open to the public and has a $10,000 prize.

Entries in all categories will be judged against the following criteria:

  • science or technological excellence and novelty 
  • potential impact 
  • sustainability and end user benefit 
  • adoption and take-up (including plans for paths to market for early-stage development work).

The awards are open to individuals and teams, and you can enter more than one project. They recognise innovation purely for the public good as well as breakthroughs with a direct commercial focus.

Entries close at 23:59 AEST Monday, 11 August 2014. Download the info pack.

Picture: Dan Himbrechts Source: News Limited. Jeffrey Tobias with the GiveEasy app.