If you want a shot at the $100K Bell Labs Prize, you'd better hurry up and put some polish on that great idea: The deadline is July 15.

The prize (actually, $50K and $25K prizes are also on the line) comes from Alcatel-Lucent's research arm, which is no stranger to big prizes: 12 of its researchers have shared in 7 Nobel Prizes for Physics over the years. Winners will have a chance to work with Bell Labs to further their research as well.

+ Also on NetworkWorld:Why there's no Nobel Prize in Computing+

In addition to recognizing individual winners, Bell Labs will offer $100,000 donation to the accredited institution of higher learning at which the top winner is enrolled at the time the application is submitted.  

How to win the prize? Come up with a "10x game-changing proposal in the field of information and communications technologies and related software systems and applications." You'll need to outpace Bell Labs itself here, as the outfit recently demoed a broadband breakthrough: 10Gbps speed using traditional copper telephone lines.

Bell Labs is based in Murray Hill, N.J., though recently opened a satellite location near Tel Aviv, which focused on cloud computing, and another office will be announced in Europe later this month.