The Opportunity Project: Census Bureau’s Innovation Model Continues to Expand Through Post-COVID-19 Challenges

The Opportunity Project: Census Bureau’s Innovation Model Continues to Expand Through Post-COVID-19 Challenges
Thu, 07/15/2021 – 13:34

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau brings together cross-sector collaborators during The Opportunity Project’s (TOP) technology development sprints to come up with ways to use data and technology to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.

TOP is led by the Census Bureau’s Census Open Innovation Labs. It engages government, technologists and communities to create digital products using federal open data that serve the public. To date, more than 1,500 people, 30 federal agencies, and hundreds of organizations have participated in TOP sprints, resulting in nearly 150 new open data tools including apps, websites, mapping tools, data visualizations, games and more. 


From August to November, TOP technology development sprints will focus on tackling issues confronting “The World Post COVID-19: Society, Economy and Environment.” They will be addressing the following challenges:

Preventing Crisis for Low-Income Renters & Small Landlords (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).
Improving Minority Businesses’ Access to Capital (Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce).
Tackling the Climate Crisis through Climate-Smart Communities (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
Analyzing Housing and Migration Trends Post-COVID 19 (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
Analyzing Equity in Federal COVID-19 Spending (U.S. Department of the Treasury). 
Helping Small Businesses Thrive in a Digital Economy (City of Coral Gables).
Increasing Content Accessibility for Multilingual Communities (New York City Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, TOP’s first city-sponsored challenge!).

View full problem statements 


Anyone interested in helping to create technology solutions using federal open data is invited to participate. Contact the Census Open Innovation Labs at <> to get involved.

Tech teams. Companies, universities, nonprofits, and students who build digital products throughout the sprints.
User advocates. Community leaders, local or national advocates, and people with direct experience in the target challenge who guide tech teams in designing realistic, useful solutions. 
Product advisors. Product experts from outside of government who advise teams in developing products that are sustainable after the sprints.
Data stewards. Experts on federal open datasets who advise teams on accessing and using data.

Learn more about these roles at The Opportunity Project.

Anyone interested in these challenges can also apply to the Open Data for Good Grand Challenge.


Interested in participating in TOP 2021 sprints? Please contact us by Aug. 6. 


Learn More Here