Creating digital tools for the public with federal open data.
The Opportunity Project (TOP), a program run by the Census Open Innovation Labs (COIL) at the U.S. Census Bureau, brings together government, communities, and the technology industry to create digital tools that address our nation’s greatest challenges with open data. Through 12-week sprints, TOP challenges technologists outside of government – companies, non-profits, and universities – to create digital tools with Census and other federal open data to expand American economic opportunity.
TOP works with experts from the Census Bureau and other federal agencies to identify high-priority challenges facing the public, and then engages experts from the private and nonprofit sectors through technology development sprints. Each 12-week sprint results in new data-driven tools that directly serve families, local leaders, and businesses. This process helps to empower people with technology, make government data more accessible and user-friendly, and facilitate cross-sector collaboration to build new digital solutions with open data.
Since launching in 2016, 30 federal agencies and over 100 external organizations including companies, universities and community organizations have worked together to create 80 new digital products for the public. These products provide solutions to challenges including the opioid crisis, disaster response, connecting veterans with jobs, promoting STEM education, and more.
TOP supports the Census Bureau’s mission and Title 13 mandate to disseminate data to the public. It is also a component of the President’s Management Agenda — namely, Cross Agency Priority (CAP) Goal 2: Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset, championed by Commerce Deputy Secretary Karen Dunn Kelley, which focuses on utilizing data as an asset to grow the economy, increase the effectiveness of the Federal Government, promote transparency, and make government data more useful to the public, businesses, and researchers. TOP is also a Proof Point within the first ever Federal Data Strategy.
Awards:- This is a single-phase prize competition in which five (5) prizes will be awarded, totaling $100,000. One $20,000 prize will be awarded in each of the following five (5) categories: 1) 2020 Census: Reaching Hard-to-Count Communities, 2) Revolutionizing the Workforce, 3) Building Thriving Communities, 4) Creating Resilient People and Places, 5) Creating the Future of Health. Each of these categories is described in more detail in the above “Challenge Goals & Categories” section.