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European Self Sovereign Identity Framework Laboratory

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - eSSIF-Lab (European Self Sovereign Identity Framework Laboratory)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-04-30

The core idea of eSSIF Lab is to
1. promote and facilitate the development of SSI technologies such as apps (e.g. for digital wallets), protocols (for requesting/negotiating verifiable credentials and responding to such requests) that allow for the integration of existing and upcoming SSI-technologies, both blockchain based or non-blockchain based;
2. to develop SSI business information support that allows businesses to update/redesign their information processes so they can benefit from these technologies while retaining their ‘Self-Sovereignty’ as they conduct electronic (business) transactions; and
3. For developers to interact on the above-mentioned building blocks, connecting to and building-upon each other’s solutions, creating a shared, tested, interoperable federation of SSI solutions.

It will achieve this so by creating a distributed ‘playing ground’, in which both technologies and business information support can be tested, demonstrated and exercised, and can easily be connected to (open APIs) and reproduced (open source) by anyone, either by funded projects selected for the ICT-24 cascading funding or any project outside this funding mechanism. This provides a risk-reduced way for businesses to develop their individual business-case for deciding whether or not to adopt this new way of working.
An initial version of the eSSIF-Lab SSI Framework has been delivered (D1.2). This deliverable provides an initial common SSI framework for eSSIF-lab, containing an introduction, vision and purpose, functional architecture and an overview of relevant SSI standards and open source initiatives. This framework will be further elaborated during reporting period 2.
The eSSIF-Lab ecosystem has grown through the open calls. The business-oriented open call 1 (BOC1) was opened for applications and yielded 19 sub-grantees that started their sub-projects in August 2020. These sub-projects develop commercially competitive SSI components and services within WP4 SSI Innovation Space where they received ao business and technical coaching from the eSSIF-Lab partners to develop their business cases.
The infrastructure-oriented open call was also opened and delivered 14 sub-projects to WP2 SSI Framework. The IOC sub-projects focus on open source technical enhancements and extensions of the eSSIF-Lab framework.
The eSSIF-Lab will continue to grow as the business-oriented open call 2 (BOC2) and the third and final tranche infrastructure-oriented open call (IOC3) both with deadline for applications of 7 July 2021. Eventually this will result in another 23 (BOC2) and 7 (IOC3) sub-grantees. Preparation of the last two eSSIF-Lab open calls took place in the last months of reporting period 1.
SSI solutions need to work together to contribute to the envisaged thriving European business ecosystem. Therefore, a dozen SSI inter-projects have been launched between BOC1 and IOC1/2 sub-grantees. This contributes to strengthening the network between the sub-grantees and thus the eSSIF-Lab ecosystem.
In addition, most eSSIF-Lab beneficiaries have actively participated in international standardisation activities, including W3C, DIF, ToIP, Aries and others, some in a leading role, others with contributions or review, and several in close cooperation with other eSSIF-Lab beneficiaries.
Liaison activities has been undertaken to connect and attune with relevant SSI (e.g. EBSI ESSIF) and NGI initiatives.
Impact 1: Shaping a more human-centric evolution of the Internet

KPI 1.1 Technical limitations of SSI framework addressed
Sub-grantee Fraunhofer addressed the limitation that trust relationships are difficult to administer for verifiers. Sub-grantee ValidatedID addressed the limitation that SSI could not be combined with eIDAS signatures. Sub-grantee Verifiable Credentials Ltd addressed the limitation that SSI policies are hard to manage. Sub-grantee Gataca addressed the limitation that verifiers were forced to integrate with multiple mutually incompatible SSI technologies. Sub-grantee Evernym addressed the limitation that getting started with SSI was difficult due to the proprietary-ness of SSI wallets.

KPI 1.2 eSSIF-Lab promotes Social Innovation
Sub-grantee Domilabs is set to creating a more efficient relationship between actors in the real estate actor allowing them to be more connected and to save time in transactions. Sub-grantee Resonate is making strides in allowing musicians and other artists regain control of the distribution of their music while managing their own communities. Sub-grantee E-Origin will allow customs to track goods with more accuracy while reducing costs. Note that the bulk of these third-party solutions will be for BOC2, which kicks off September 2021.

Impact 2: Create a European ecosystem of top researchers, hi-tech startups and SMEs

KPI 2.1 Ten yearly SSI community building actions 10 hackathons, bootcamps, webinars, pre-events per year in relation to the open calls.
Due to covid-19 we had to switch to online events. 6 online sessions have already been organized to promote the open calls and raise awareness about eSSIF-Lab. In addition, we have encouraged cooperation and coordination between sub-grantees in the business-oriented and infrastructure-oriented tracks by stimulating interop activities between their projects. The sub-grantees are increasingly able to find each other. The fortnightly IOC meetings keep the IOC sub-grantees well-informed about each other's progress and lead to new collaborations.

KPI 2.2 Tech media acknowledging eSSIF-Lab project
Several sub-grantees as well as TNO have presented at the 32nd Internet Identity Workshop (20-22 April 2021, online) mentioning eSSIF-Lab. Compliments were received from the leader of the American Silicon Valley Innovation Programme (SVIP)

Impact 3: Generate new business opportunities and new Internet companies

KPI 3.1 SSI business ideas and opportunities identified 700 new SSI business ideas (applications) and 2 or more SSI Startups & SMEs created or supported in the Open Calls
In RP1 a total of 340 draft applications have been started to all eSSIF-Lab open calls. Of those, 119 applications were submitted.

KPI 3.2 Increase in the market share of SSI based solutions
IATA used sub-grantee Evernym’s open-source SSI wallet suite to build a proprietary IATA app, dedicated to the airport experience and easily passing COVID-19 check-points.

Impact 4: Integrate research and innovation communities

KPI 4.1 Strategic papers on SSI with industry partners
Drummond Reed (Evernym) , Oskar van Deventer (TNO), Rieks Joosten (TNO): "The basic building blocks of SSI", Chapter 2 of the book "Self-Sovereign Identity".
Oskar van Deventer (TNO), Alexander Blom (Bloqzone), Line Kofoed (Bloqzone), “We need countermeasures against SSI coercion”, Privacy & Pandemics Workshop, Web, October 27-28, 2020.
Sterre den Breeijen (TNO), with others "On Guardianship in Self-Sovereign Identity", Sovrin,

KPI 4.2 Collaboration with Industry in developing new business and setting standards
Rieks Joosten (TNO), Drummond Reed (Evernym): founder and co-chairs of new Trust-over-IP Concepts & Terminology Working Group.
Sub-grantee Gataca initiated the Verifier Universal Interface standardisation, which will be likely adopted by DIF after eSSIF-Lab completes.
Sub-grantee Danubetech is main contributor to W3C DID and DID-related working groups in DIF.
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