(by Elleina Filippi (née Andrews), Service Delivery Manager, Australian Access Federation)

APAN (Asia Pacific Advanced Network) is continuing to assist the growth of Identity Management federations in the Asia Pacific (APAC) Region. Terry Smith the Australian Access Federation’s (AAF) Technical Support and Engagement Manager currently chairs the APAN Identity Access Management working group, which welcomed representatives from 21 countries within the APAN region. Terry is supported by his Co-Chairs, Toby Chan representing the Hong Kong Access Federation and William Wan representing CARSI (China Authentication and Resource Sharing Infrastructure, provided by CERNET). APAN provides the opportunity to the share knowledge and skills with federations around the region.

Broadening the reach of identity federations in the region

The BACKFIRE Project

GÉANT, REFEDS (the Research and Education FEDerations group) and JISC, recently won a grant to begin the BACKFIRE (Broadening Asi@Connect Knowledge on Federated Identity, Roaming and E-infrastructure) project. The BACKFIRE project will continue to extend the work undertaken by the APAN Identity and Access Management Task Force to benefit members and ensure they receive the same level of support, mentoring and guidance for federation development. Part of the project will also sponsor delegates from non-federated countries to attend APAN conferences, to gain further understanding about federated access and issues in the sector.

Participants at the first Backfire sessions at the APAN TF-IAM, during APAN45

The project will aim to foster discussions about developing new federations in these countries, and cultivate current federations in Asia and Oceania. 15 people from  APAC regions will attend and participate in the next four APAN conferences. The BACKFIRE project is seeking further assistance from established federations to provide mentors for these countries.


eduGAIN, the global initiative is steadily developing in the Asia Pacific region. Singapore and Australia have obtained membership, while Hong Kong, New Zealand and China are participating as voting members and candidates. Australia has recently completed the first phase of a national eduGAIN rollout, with eight identity providers and two service providers already connected to the global federation. APAN will work to expand eduGAIN further in the Asia Pacific region through meetings and consultations.


In addition to federated access management, the Asia Pacific region has been strongly supporting the global uptake of ORCID. Australia, Taiwan and New Zealand are the ORCID Consortia in the region with other countries in the region consulting with the current consortia to understand how ORCID could benefit their national agenda. New Zealand recently developed an ORCID Hub, which will simplify connecting to ORCID for many of their members and Australia have been leading the way with community engagement and a national vision for ORCID.

APAN conferences are held bi-annually at different locations in the Asia Pacific region. The next APAN conference will be help in Singapore, 25 – 29 March 2018. The second conference will take place later this year in New Zealand. Visit the APAN website for more information.