Use government data to build digital tools with, by, and for the people.
The Opportunity Project is a program of the Census Open Innovation Labs at the U.S. Census Bureau.
Use TOP at Your Agency to Solve the Nation's Toughest Challenges
The Opportunity Project (TOP) offers a framework for agencies to facilitate collaboration between technologists and community advocates in order to rapidly design digital solutions for the public good.
Explore how agencies have used TOP to address national challenges:
The State Department & The Wilson Center Worked to Reduce Plastic Waste in Oceans
Ocean Plastics Story Map, Esri: storytelling with newly compiled data sets to provide new insights and solutions to the problem of ocean plastic pollution
Georgetown University Campus Plastic Initiative, Georgetown University Beeck Center: tracking plastic pollution on college campuses and educating students on its impact
The Ghost Gear Project, Harvard University Institute of Politics: visualizing the location of ghost fishing gear in our oceans with accompanying mitigation techniques
The Campus Plastic Initiative product resulted in the creation of a Georgetown student organization and greater emphasis on recycling and reduction of plastic pollution on campus
FEMA Used Geospatial Data to Help People Prepare for Disasters
Puerto Rico Land Grid, Loveland Technologies: assessing the occupancy, condition, land use, and needs of all 1.5 million properties in Puerto Rico
Disaster Awareness Games, University of California Santa Barbara: gamifying emergency preparation for young adults
Sille, Datel Ovela: increasing stakeholders' awareness of likely catastrophic structural failure in their areas
The Sille product team fostered ongoing partnerships with FEMA, as well as with the Puerto Rican and NYC governments
HUD & The White House Catalyzed Investment in Opportunity Zones
City Builder, Citi Ventures: bringing transparency to the Opportunity Zone ecosystem for public and private investment
Inclusive Growth Score, Mastercard: ensuring community priorities inform Opportunity Zones strategies employed by decision-makers
Inclusive Development Dashboards, Burning Glass: helping workforce and economic development conveners to prioritize inclusive development in their regions
The Citi Ventures team, a 2019 Prize Challenge winner, has since participated in two additional sprints, continuing to build out the City Builder product by adding datasets and features
Ready to solve the nation's biggest challenges?
How Does TOP Work?
Government and/or community organizations lead sprints and identify pressing, public-facing issues.
Government agencies recruit technologists, community leaders, and data experts to participate in a 12-week sprint challenge.
Tech teams create products and tools based on community feedback. User research and exploration are important steps during this process. Tech teams include industry start-ups, technologists from outside the government, and university students.
Learn more about the TOP process.
How to Get Started
We can help your organization identify the next steps to facilitate a successful TOP sprint. If your agency is interested in using the TOP framework to address national challenges, please complete this form to get started. A member of the Census Open Innovation Labs (COIL) team will be in touch within one week.
Ready to get started?
We envision a future in which every federal agency uses the TOP model. We’re empowering you with the tools you need to lead open innovation.
40+ National Challenges
addressed, including ocean plastic pollution, COVID-19 economic recovery, disaster response, and more
135+ Public-Facing Digital Products
launched since 2016 through TOP’s 12-week technology development sprints
participated in TOP sprints, including developers, designers, community leaders, data & policy experts, students, and government agencies