Canadian Access Federation Opens Doors to an Expanding Suite of Online Content and Services for Canada’s Research and Education Communities

Growing CANARIE service supports easy and secure online access to resources while reducing costs for institutional IT departments.

CANARIE, operator of Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, today announced 14 new participants in CANARIE’s Canadian Access Federation (CAF) service. This growth is the result of increased awareness of the value of a trusted digital identity among research and education communities to easily access protected online resources and services. The growth in participants in the Federation drives better value for all participants, as a larger community of users benefits from an expanded suite of online resources.

The Canadian Access Federation enables staff, students, and faculty from participating institutions to access wireless networks and web-based resources using their home institution credentials when they are visiting other organizations. A user’s home institution credential (username and password), authorized through the identity protocols and standards of the Canadian Access Federation, becomes that individual’s universal trusted digital identity, This in turn enables users to benefit from easy access to protected online resources, while institutions
benefit from reduced IT administrative costs.


Canadian Access Federation offers two services based on a user’s trusted digital identity: access to campus WiFi networks and to protected online resources. Both services are growing, with almost 1.5 million CAF- enabled logins to campus WiFi networks in April 2013, and 14 new service providers joining the Federation.

New service providers in the Federation include Elsevier Scopus, the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature; Kuali, open-source software for higher education; ProQuest, which provides access to vetted, reliable scholarly and governmental information; and Fluidware, the company behind online services like FluidSurveys and ReviewRoom. These new participants join a formidable roster of online service providers that continue to enrich the ecosystem and drive the use of advanced digital technologies among research and education communities.


“CANARIE’s role is to drive the adoption of advanced digital infrastructure and services among Canada’s research and education communities,” explains Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “CAF does just that by making it easier for researchers, educators, and students to access content securely. It also drives efficiencies within the institutions and service providers, since they don’t need to constantly authenticate and authorize users, or create and delete guest WiFi accounts.”

“By participating in CAF, our IT department sets up the system once, and our students and staff then have easy access to the services to which we subscribe,” notes Oliver Grüter-Andrew, Chief Information Officer at the University of British Columbia. “Our users have fewer usernames and passwords to juggle and the system is actually more secure.”

“Since FluidSurveys and ReviewRoom have implemented CAF, we’ve benefited from access to many different educational institutions across Canada,” says Aydin Mirzaee, co-CEO of Fluidware. “This has really put us on the map. Involvement with CAF has really helped our company grow in a very unique way in the education industry and we wish that we had started the process even earlier.”


The Canadian Access Federation (CAF), which was started in Canada by the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers (CUCCIO), is now operated by CANARIE.

CAF provides a trusted access-management environment for Canadian research and higher education communities:

  • CAF enables staff, students, and faculty to access wireless networks and web-based resources using their home organization credentials when they are visiting other organizations in Canada and around the world;
  • CAF allows participants to participate in a cost-effective, privacy-preserving approach to access management;
  • CAF helps to ensure the privacy of personal information by eliminating the need for researchers, students, and educators to maintain multiple, password-protected accounts; and
  • CAF enables organizations to better manage access to their resources based on a user’s status and privileges as presented by the user’s home organization.

More than 70 institutions and service providers in Canada participate in CAF.


Full list of current participating institutions and service providers

For more information, please contact:

Wynn Anne Sibbald Communications Manager
(613) 943-5432


CANARIE designs and delivers digital infrastructure for Canada’s research and education communities and drives the adoption of the latest . CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE’s roots are in advanced networking, and CANARIE continues to evolve the national ultra-high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s high-tech entrepreneurs, CANARIE offers cloud-computing services to help them accelerate product development and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

CANARIE, together with twelve provincial and territorial network partners, forms Canada’s advanced network alliance. This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canada’s researchers and innovators provincially, nationally, and globally to the data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that are at the heart of prosperity in the digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.