The importance of evaluation in promoting research and development in the information retrieval and natural language processing domains has long been recognised but is this sufficient? In many areas there is still a considerable gap between the results achieved by the research community and their implementation in commercial applications. This is particularly true for the cross-language or multilingual retrieval areas. Despite the strong demand for and interest in multilingual IR functionality, there are still very few operational systems on offer. The Cross Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF) is now taking steps aimed at changing this situation. The paper provides a critical assessment of the main results achieved by CLEF so far and discusses plans now underway to extend its activities in order to have a more direct impact on the application sector.