DHS Awards $181K for Flexible Decentralized Digital Credentials

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $181,392 to SICPA Product Security, LLC based in Springfield, VA to develop a solution for credential issuers to manage and verify digital credentials that are the secure digital equivalent to secure physical credentials without reengineering their current processes and systems.

DHS operational components — such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — issue, validate and verify eligibility requirements; licenses and certifications for travel, citizenship, and immigration status; employment eligibility; and supply chain security. SICPA’s Phase 1 award project “Decentralized Digital Identity for Online and Offline Verification” will build a flexible, credential-based identity solution that includes the enrollment, creation, issuance and management of secure digital credentials through interoperable, open standards, which will seamlessly coexist with current processes and systems while enabling offline credentials validation.

“The ability of credential issuers to transition from paper-based to digital credentials without reengineering current processes and systems is a critical aspect of incorporating innovative technologies with current systems.” said Anil John, S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) Technical Director. “SIPCA’s work will allow physical and digital credentials to coexist while enabling broad interoperability based on emerging World Wide Web Consortium standards such as decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials.”

The Phase 1 award was made under S&T’s SVIP Other Transaction Solicitation Preventing Forgery & Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses seeking blockchain and distributed ledger technology solutions to fulfill a common need across DHS missions.

SVIP is one of S&T’s programs and tools to fund innovation and work with private sector partners to advance homeland security solutions. Companies participating in SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 of non-dilutive funding over four phases to develop and adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.

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