Trust and Identity support for NRENs
National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), alongside GÉANT and other partners such as e-infrastructures, play a crucial role in delivering secure, reliable and scalable identity services for research and education. They develop and deliver federated and inter-federated access solutions based on trusted digital identities, reliable policies and secure technologies. GÉANT supports them in a variety of ways.
The strategic importance to NRENs and their users of services - not just network infrastructure and connectivity - has become increasingly recognised. Among these services, Trust and Identity solutions are a key that allows students, researchers, educators and staff in connected universities and other institutions to access needed resources and participate in collaborative initiatives. By providing such services as well as network connectivity, and by collaborating with each other internationally through GÉANT and other activities, NRENs play an important role in the national and international research and education ecosystem.
Supporting collaboration is a core mission of GÉANT. We have developed skills and expertise in governance, project management, training and marketing communications that community members can call upon in their development, promotion and management of Trust and Identity services.
GÉANT's Trust and Identity technical experts work closely with their NREN peers in the GÉANT Project and other projects, various community groups and events, actual delivery of identities and T&I services to users is typically achieved through individual research and education institutions with the support of their NREN.
GÉANT provides various opportunities for NRENs to work together in the Trust and Identity arena:
- GÉANT Community Programme of working groups, small projects and innovation activities - currently includes TF-DLT - the Task Force on Distributed Ledger Technologies.
- Trust and Identity Incubator within the GÉANT Project engages with NRENs to explore new Trust and Identity ideas and technologies;
- brings young professionals into 'TIM', the Trust and Identity Incubator Mentorship programme, in collaboration with the GÉANT Learning And Development team, contributing to a pipeline of T&I products for the GÉANT project and the European NREN community.
- GÉANT joins NRENs and other organisation in specialist community forums such as REFEDS and AEGIS, for in-depth collaboration on policies, best practices and other aspects related to T&I service development and operation.
Supporting solutions, together
CONNECTING USERS, RAISING NREN VISIBILITY AND VALUE
The most visible success from NREN community collaboration to date, eduroam WiFi roaming supports network access and mobility for students and other users, using only their institution-provided digital identity.
Now available in tens of thousands of locations around the world, eduroam is used more than 4 billion times per year to authenticate students, researchers and staff while they travel for study, work or leisure. In this way eduroam supports mobility across campus or internationally, e.g. through the EU's Erasmus+ programme.
With benefits to users, connected institutions, and to research and education collaboration more generally, eduroam is a unique value-added service NRENs can offer, helping them to be visible, key players in the international research and education ecosystem.
GÉANT supports NRENs in delivering eduroam
Technical expertise, operational support at the European level, training opportunities, promotional activities, events, policies and governance, adjunct services...
UNLOCKING SERVICES, ADDING VALUE
Now connecting scores of national research and education identity federations and thousands of service providers and identity providers, eduGAIN helps around 27,000,000 students, researchers and educators to access a wider range of online services while minimising their account management, service providers reach a wider audience, and institutions easily manage access to supported services.
As eduGAIN has evolved to become a foundation stone in other services that support international research collaborations, student mobility in Erasmus+, and online discounts for students, implementing eduGAIN at national level makes NRENs the key that unlocks a lot of added value for users and institutions.
GÉANT supports NRENs in delivering eduGAIN
A website of technical data, technical expertise and knowledge sharing, operational support at the European level, training opportunities, promotional activities, policies and governance, adjunct services and security activities, an active community of experts...
DATA PRIVACY FOR STUDENTS, GROWTH FOR FEDERATIONS
Created by national identity federations within the GÉANT Project, InAcademia leverages the eduGAIN service so that online merchants can validate the academic affiliation of users who want to take advantage of student discounts. Launched early in 2020, InAcademia is available in a growing number of countries and recorded more than a million student authentications in 2021.
Providing merchants with a quick, easy, reliable and secure way to validate academic affiliation for the student market, InAcademia facilitates discounts on big-name services and academic resources while protecting user privacy.
Participating with InAcademia via your national federation provides an opportunity to onboard new service providers with a light-weight, low-maintenance gateway to federated identities and by increasing the number and breadth of services available, making it more attractive for identity providers to participate.
GÉANT supports NRENs in delivering InAcademia
NRENs are welcome to participate in an active community of experts that provides a forum to influence the future of the service, methods of operational support and relevant promotional activities...