The Australian Access Federation has been working with APAN (Asia Pacific Advanced Network) to grow Identity Management federations in the Asia Pacific (APAC) Region. With 43 organisations currently participating in APAN, The AAF is providing thought leadership and support for identity federations in the APAC region. Terry Smith the AAF’s Technical Support and Engagement Manager currently chairs the APAN Identity Access Management working group, and is supported by his Co-Chairs, Toby Chan represents the Hong Kong Access Federation and William Wan is representing CARSI (CERNET (China Education and Research Network) Authentication and Resource Sharing Infrastructure). Since 2016 the AAF has been instrumental in assisting Hong Kong and Singapore to set up their national access federations and have been sharing knowledge and skills with the other APAN participants.

Broadening the reach of identity Federations in the region

The BACKFIRE Project

APAN, in conjunction with REFEDS 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 the issues in the sector. The project will aim to foster discussions about developing federations in these countries, and cultivate federations in Asia and Oceania. 15 delegates from non-federated 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 counties.


The AAF has actively promoted the rollout of eduGAIN in Asia Pacific, assisting Singapore in obtaining membership, and advising Hong Kong, New Zealand and China to participate in the global initiative as voting members and candidates. Australia has recently completed the first phase of the national eduGAIN rollout, with eight identity providers and two service providers already connected to the global federation. The AAF will continue to work with Australian subscribers to connect to eduGAIN and realise the full potential that eduGAIN can provide for them.


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.

To find out more about federations in the Asia Pacific visit the APAN website.