Canadian Access Federation to join Europe’s eduGAIN, giving Canadians access to a continent’s worth of digital resources

“Digital passport” supports global collaboration among increasingly mobile users across Canada and around the world.

[Ottawa, Ontario | May 22, 2012] CANARIE, Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, today announced that it has taken steps to broaden the Canadian Access Federation (CAF) service by joining eduGAIN. This provides Canadian participants in CAF with a “digital passport” which enables them to access a wide range of content and applications at eduGAIN’s member institutions. Similarly, member institutions of eduGAIN can offer their users an opportunity to access the resources of CAF’s participating institutions across the country. This evolution of the CAF service strengthens Canadians’ prospects for global collaboration and opens up new opportunities for innovation and discovery.


CAF is the Canadian federation in which participating institutions agree to use best-practice protocols to allow access to networks and content. eduGAIN is a service that helps country federations such as CAF or SWAMID in Sweden connect to each other seamlessly, without the end users having to contact anyone to set up a new account or password.

These technical frameworks assure participating members that the usernames and passwords issued to staff, faculty and students at the home institution are secure and valid, and may be used to verify and authenticate access to networks and protected online resources.

This “digital passport” works like this: if a student at a Canadian college that participates in CAF wished to access a unique database of research data on Arctic marine ecosystems at a Finnish institution, the student would have access to that resource while in Canada through the identity management assurances shared by CAF and eduGAIN. The student would not have to contact the Finnish institution for permissions. Similarly, a Belgian researcher at a member institution of eduGAIN could, over the Internet, access Canadian research on traffic control systems housed at a Canadian university that participates in CAF.


“Research and innovation are global in nature,” states Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “Global research initiatives, like the International Cancer Genome Consortium, depend on the ability of far-flung users to transmit, access, and manipulate huge amounts of data. CANARIE is committed to supporting access to data and tools for our increasingly borderless community through CAF and its participation in eduGAIN.”


CANARIE’s Canadian Access Federation makes sharing protected resources easier, safer, and more secure, in our age of digital resources and services. It enables participants to meet the needs of research and learning by making collaboration easier among academic and research organizations across Canada and around the world.

eduGAIN is a service developed within GÉANT, the high-speed European communication network dedicated to research and education. eduGAIN uses a best-practice protocol to connect identity federations around the world, simplifying access to content, services and resources for the global research and education community. eduGAIN enables the trustworthy exchange of information by coordinating elements of the federations’ technical infrastructure and providing a policy framework that controls this information exchange.

Participants in the Canadian Access Federation may opt in to this extended service (at no additional charge) and may have to make configuration changes to their technical environment if they are not already SAML-enabled. CANARIE will issue instructions for this when the eduGAIN participation is fully operational.


Application to participate in CAF [pdf | 192 KB]
Application to become a CAF Service Provider [pdf | 246 KB] Participants in the Canadian Access Federation
Status of participants in eduGAIN – CANARIE will be added to this list once our membership is fully operational.

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For more information, please contact: Wynn Anne Sibbald
Communications Manager
(613) 943-5432


CANARIE Inc. is Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Established in 1993, CANARIE manages an ultra high-speed network that supports 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. Together with 12 provincial and territorial advanced network partners, CANARIE enables researchers to share and analyze massive amounts of data, like climate models, satellite images, and DNA sequences that can lead to groundbreaking scientific discoveries. CANARIE is a non-profit corporation supported by membership fees, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.

CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy. For additional information, please visit: .

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