The Australian has launched the Innovation Challenge, to find the country's greatest ideas.
Working in conjunction with Shell and the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, the awards are aimed at helping scientists, engineers, technologists, educators and backyard inventors to get their idea or invention to a commercialisation or adoption stage with the help of $70 000 in funding.
According to Clive Mathieson, editor of The Australian, last year's challenge attracted more than 300 entries and included Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt and a team including triple Olympic gold medallist rower Drew Ginn.
"The calibre of entries submitted in 2011 was astounding," Mathieson said.
"They came from backyard sheds, university halls and prestigious laboratories across the country. We’re keen to see what ideas we’ll uncover this time round."
The awards are open to both individuals and teams, and have several professional categories, each with a prize of $5000.
The overall winner of the professional categories will receive an additional $25 000.
An eighth category, Backyard Innovation, is also open to the general public and has a $10 000 prize.