OPCW launches €260,000 Artificial Intelligence Research Challenge

2 July 2024
OPCW Artificial Intelligence Challenge

THE HAGUE, Netherlands— 2 July 2024—The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) launched a crowdsourcing challenge for researchers and scientists from all OPCW Member States to propose innovative artificial intelligence (AI) systems and approaches that could be used by the Organisation to enhance its capabilities and support adaptation towards future challenges. The deadline for submissions is 16:00 CET on 9 August 2024.

The OPCW and its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) have been closely monitoring recent developments in AI and considering both the risks they may pose and the opportunities they could offer. The SAB recognises that AI could offer many benefits to the work of the Organisation, helping it achieve its mission to rid the world of chemical weapons. This Challenge aims to leverage AI technology to establish new capabilities within the OPCW or to further develop existing ones, ensuring the Organisation is best equipped and prepared to address current and future threats. The Challenge is seeking AI solutions to build capabilities specifically relating to implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and not to the OPCW’s business processes. Examples include document analysis to identify emerging threats or trends, data mining in chemical forensics, medical countermeasure design, and open-source data analysis to corroborate reports of chemical weapons use. Proposals from research teams in all OPCW Member States are strongly encouraged.  

Following the review of all submissions by the Technical Evaluation Team, consisting of members of the SAB and qualified OPCW Technical Secretariat staff, a total of four proposals will be awarded up to €65,000 for the purpose of developing the project over the course of one year.  The AI Challenge is funded by the European Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

All questions and submissions should be sent to OPCW Procurement. 


The OPCW SAB comprises 25 independent experts from OPCW Member States. Its role is to provide advice to the Director-General relating to developments in scientific and technological fields that are relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention. On request, the SAB also provides advice to the OPCW Technical Secretariat on technical matters related to the implementation of the Convention, including on cooperation and assistance. 

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. 

In 2023, the OPCW verified that all chemical weapons stockpiles declared by the 193 States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1997 — totalling 72,304 metric tonnes of chemical agents — have been irreversibly destroyed under the OPCW’s strict verification regime. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.