I attended the last FIM4R meeting where I presented a document (Proposed Roadmap to address eResearch Requirements) prepared in response to the FIM4R paper.

The FIM4R paper identifies a number of challenges that prevent wider adoption of FIM technologies  in the eResearch community. This community has real use-cases for inter-federation, that also involve the need to support non-web applications and the usage of X.509 certificates. It was felt that the Identity Federation community (REFEDS/eduGAIN) should address some of the issues raised in the FIM paper and prepare a roadmap to start working on possible solutions to solve them.

I was very pleased with the outcome of the meeting, also thank to Bob Jones who proposed milestones to engage the group.

One of the main outcomes of the meeting was the agreement to collect FIM4R requirements (or use-cases) with the objective of finding suitable budget to address them. Clearly there are a number of use-cases that are relevant for eduGAIN, whilst others are of different nature.

To make things easier, the team that worked on the paper prepared two templates to gather the requirements:

  1. EU specific use-cases – these are projects funded through the European Commission and listed on the CORDIS website.
  2. Global use-cases – for projects, institutions, organisations and anything else of interest not funded directly by or in the EU.

All this is described at:



We all know that funding (beside people good will) is needed to ensure that work happens.  Luckily there are different ways to get some funding, which are explained below.

  • Through GÉANT project (also called GN3+) funding.  As part of a work area called ‘Enabling Users’ (or SA5 T5 to use G ÉANT project numbering) a small amount of funding and manpower has been made available to implement 2-3 well-defined use cases within two years.  It is likely that these projects will be both EU specific and eduGAIN specific to ensure the greatest impact. See URL above for more details.
  • Through REFEDS funding.  REFEDS has a small amount of funding available to support broader use cases.  In line with the REFEDS remit, these use-cases are likely to be global and look at the challenges faced in a wider community than the EU. See URL above for more details.
  • Through the GÉANT Open Call.  The recently published GEANT Open Call seeks proposals in a variety of areas that are of interest to the FIM4R report.  The work areas set out in the call are specific, but could provide a good match to some of the problem areas being experienced by research communities.


Note, that this is a competitive call and as such it requires a proposal submission (deadline 29 May). The proposal has to address the goals of the specific call you apply for.  For more information please refer to:


The GEANT Open Calls cover a wide area of topics within the access and identity management space including:

  • Proposals to look at new protocols to dynamically establish trust in a federated context, in conjunction with account chooser approaches and possibly combining this with user-centric technologies (section 13);
  • Proposals to look at how a web of  trust model  might be used as a framework for LOA (section 14);
  • Proposals for external attribute authorities within identity federations (section 15);
  • Proposals to extend the work of AB-FAB and/or new protocols to access cloud applications (not only web-based). (section 16).

There will be an information day on 19 April, you need to register via email (opencalls@geant.net).

The picture below summarises the various options.

Hopefully we will get a lot of use-cases to work with!