Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

OpenCLIR Challenge

The goal of the OpenCLIR (Open Cross Language Information Retrieval) Challenge is to develop methods to locate text and speech content in “documents” (speech or text) in low-resource languages, using English queries. This capability is one of several expected to ultimately support effective triage and analysis of large volumes of data, in a variety of less studied languages. Successful systems will be able to adapt to new languages and new genres.

The OpenCLIR Challenge was created out of the IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) MATERIAL (Machine Translation for English Retrieval of Information in Any Language) program, which encompasses more tasks, including domain classification and summarization, and more languages and query types. Also see the NIST's MATERIAL page. The purpose of OpenCLIR is to provide a simplified, smaller scale evaluation open to all.


The first OpenCLIR, OpenCLIR19, took place in January/February 2019. Details can be found in the evaluation plan linked under Documentation below.

OpenCLIR19 planned on declaring a winner in two separate categories, text and audio data, with a monetary award for the winner of USD 10,000 in the text category and USD 20,000 in the audio category. Please see the documentation below for more details and rules regarding the prizes.


The winners of the OpenCLIR19 Challenge were announced by IARPA on November 8, 2019 in this Tweet.

Text data track winner: 

  • Elhuyar Foundation (Spain)

Text data track runners-up:

  • 2nd Place: Dublin City University (Ireland)
  • 3rd Place: Hunan University of Science and Technology (China)

Speech track:

  • No submissions qualified to win.

Documentation and Resources​​​​

Schedule (updated March 18, 2019)

Milestone Date
Release of evaluation plan July 2018
Registration period Mid-July, 2018 - November 30, 2018

Development cycle

Release of Build Packs (training data)

Release of ANALYSIS, DEV, QUERY-DEV (encrypted data, decryption keys)

August 21, 2018 - May 31, 2019

August 21, 2018

August 21, 2018

Release of EVAL, QUERY-EVAL (encrypted data) March 4, 2019

Evaluation period

Release of EVAL, QUERY-EVAL (decryption keys)

System output due to NIST

March 11 - May 31, 2019

March 11, 2019

May 31, 2019

System description due to NIST July 12, 2019



Please email openclir_poc [at] (openclir_poc[at]nist[dot]gov) for any questions or comments regarding the OpenCLIR Challenge. 



Created May 31, 2018, Updated February 6, 2023