The Opportunity Project helps companies, non-profits, and universities turn federal open data into new technologies that solve real-world problems for people across the country.

We focus on the nation’s toughest challenges, from the opioid crisis and disaster relief to improving STEM education and strengthening the workforce. To date, 175+ consumer-facing digital products have been created, using open data to serve families, businesses and communities nationwide.

How America’s Data Becomes America’s Innovation

We facilitate 12-week product development cycles (called “sprints”) that pull together innovators from every sector. Tech teams join a sprint to build data-powered solutions to critical problems facing the public. Then, we match them with subject-matter experts, who offer valuable information and feedback.

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Collaboration, Simplified

We facilitate virtual collaboration across government, industry, and communities. In our sprints, cross-sector expertise is only an email, chat room, or call away.

Federal Data, Explained

The Opportunity Project unlocks the potential of open data. We help teams find, understand, and integrate government data into products that provide value and help solve important problems.

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Our Impact


National challenges addressed, including ocean plastic pollution, COVID-19 economic recovery, disaster


Public-facing digital products launched since 2016 through TOP’s 12-week technology development sprints


Alumni participated in TOP sprints, including developers, designers, community leaders, data & policy experts, students, and government agencies

2020 Annual Report

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Our History

The Opportunity Project launched in March 2016 as a White House initiative to catalyze new technologies that use federal and local data to empower communities with information about critical resources, such as affordable housing, quality schools, and jobs. Since then, the program has grown in scope and impact, and is now a widely used model for collaborative problem solving through data, technology, and user centered design.

In the past 6 years, TOP’s hundreds of participants have created 175+ digital products. Today, TOP is widely referenced as a model for how the government can seed cross-sector collaboration around open data, and has been included in policies like the Federal Data Strategy, the President’s Management Agenda,, Department of Commerce’s Strategic Plan, the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Report, and many others. In 2019, The Opportunity Project Act of 2019 was introduced to permanently authorize the program.

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The Team

The Opportunity Project is led by Census Open Innovation Labs (COIL) at the U.S. Census Bureau. We’re a nimble, startup-like team with a portfolio of initiatives that are setting a new standard for open innovation in the federal government.