It is hoped the funding can help establish Scotland as one of the leading countries is marine technology.
The prize will be awarded in 2015, with interested bidders having until 2013 to develop ideas and submit their entry.
Under the rules for the award, the winning team needs to create a "commercially viable wave or tidal energy technology that achieves a minimum electrical output of 100GWh over a continuous two-year period."
Mr Salmond said: "The £10m Saltire Prize is one of the biggest international innovation prizes in history. It is Scotland's challenge to the world."
The ScottishPower Whitelee Windfarm near Glasgow was recently acknowledged as the largest onshore windfarm in Europe, following the construction of its 91st turbine.
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