CWmike writes "The US Census Bureau is in the midst of a tech makeover following criticism of its technology deployments leading up to the 2010 Census, ranging from problems with its payroll processing system to its handhelds. The problems resulted in soaring costs and caustic criticism from lawmakers. The makeover aims to consolidate operations as well as enable the bureau's IT staff to be more creative and inventive. One effort includes establishing a place for its IT staff to generate ideas and test technologies. The Center for Applied Technology, as it's been named, will serve 'as a focal point for bringing entrepreneurial-minded staff, emerging technologies, and pressing business problems facing the Census together,' said the agency, in response to written questions from Computerworld about the plans, following Grove's testimony. 'Once the physical space is redesigned, it will serve as an oasis that will inspire Census staff to think creatively at an enterprise level to solve some of the more pertinent issues facing the Bureau,' the agency said. The center 'employs a 'think tank' concept where Census staff can work directly with corporate leaders in technology, key members of other government agencies, and academia.'"