GATINEAU, Quebec–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Digital Identity Laboratory of Canada (“the Lab”) is pleased to announce the award of several grants including contributions from the City of Gatineau, the Québec government, Converge Technology Solutions, Equitable Bank and Sagard Holdings, bringing the organization closer to its initial objective of $1 million.
The Lab also wants to acknowledge the thought leadership demonstrated by the early adopters of its service including SecureKey Technologies, TreeFort, ExactData, Identos, Northern Block, Notarius and Prodigy Labs.
The Lab is Canada’s first independent and neutral organization to promote the compliance of and interoperability between digital ID solutions across public and private sectors, bridging a crucial gap in the advancement of Canada’s digital ecosystem.
“I want to recognize and thank all of our sponsors and clients who supported the Lab’s vision. While we plan to be financially self-sufficient. We need grants to get off the ground. We are grateful to all the organizations that responded to our call right away,” said Pierre Roberge, founder and general manager. “To other like-minded organizations, identity yourself! We look forward to working with you to accelerate and increase the adoption of user-centric digital ID solutions for all Canadians.”
Among the organizations that answered the call was the Government of Québec. Eric Caire, the minister for government digital transformation, announced at a recent IdentityNORTH conference that his government was funding the Lab as part of a Pan-Canadian digital ID roadmap: “The Government of Quebec is proud to have contributed to the establishment of the Digital Identity Laboratory, located in Gatineau. To foster the emergence of the economy of tomorrow, the digital identity should be secure, user-friendly and interoperable. Thus, any solution must be checked and tested in sandboxes. This laboratory is part of this philosophy by allowing various partners to use controlled environments for testing,” said M. Caire.
The leading organization in Canada that is setting the compliance and interoperability framework for digital ID is the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (“DIACC”). Together with leaders in the Canadian digital ID industry, DIACC delivered the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework earlier this year. On the role of the Lab, Joni Brennan, president of DIACC, said: “DIACC is proud to collaborate with In-Sec-M to establish Canada’s national Digital ID Laboratory. The Lab will play an important role for public and private sector verification of digital ID technologies in alignment with the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework.”
As part of its mandate as a centre of excellence in cybersecurity, In-Sec-M, Canada’s cybersecurity industry cluster, provided support and seed funding to the Lab. “The services provided by the Lab will promote the leadership and positioning of Canadian expertise in digital ID on a national and international scale,” said Antoine Normand, president of In-Sec-M.
“Last March, the municipal council granted a subsidy for the establishment of the Digital Identity Laboratory, defining this project as the future of economic development in Gatineau. The lab will be the cornerstone of the innovation zone project, where cybersecurity will be the main activity sector. It is a source of pride for the city of Gatineau to welcome this new institution,” said the mayor of Gatineau, Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin.
Paul Desmarais III, Chairman and CEO of Sagard Holdings, added: “A prosperous and competitive digital economy in Canada needs Digital ID. To deliver the digital services customers expect, companies across all sectors need consumer-centric and interoperable digital identity solutions. We believe the Lab will play a central role in bringing this need to life for the benefit of consumers, businesses and governments. Sagard Holdings is proud to be a founding sponsor of the Lab and help get this important initiative off the ground.”
Andrew Moor, CEO and President of Equitable Bank, says, “We are strong advocates of the benefits of open banking and believe that open banking, digital identity, and payments modernization need to come together to enable a modern banking system that better serves Canadians. We are proud to be a Founding Sponsor of the Lab and to support the advancement of Canadian digital identity solutions in a neutral, interoperable, and compliant way.”
Converge Technology Solutions Chief Technology Officer Don Cuthbertson says, “We are investing heavily in digital identity related research and development, particularly in the area of blockchain and verifiable credentials, and as such, we plan on being a major client of the Lab. This new organization fills a gap that existed in Canada.”
Among the first group of sandbox sponsors of the Lab is SecureKey Technologies (“SecureKey”): “Interoperability, user-centric solutions and collaboration are critical to the success of any digital ID solution. We are thrilled to work with the Lab to expand Verified.Me’s interoperability with international standards. SecureKey is proud to support the Lab in creating a better digital future for Canadian citizens,” said Greg Wolfond, founder and chief executive officer, SecureKey.
About the Digital Identity Laboratory of Canada
The Lab is an independent non-profit entity dedicated to accelerating the adoption of user-centric digital identity solutions by promoting technical conformity and interoperability. The Lab is not an incubator and does not develop or sell digital identity solutions. The Lab, headquartered in Gatineau, was established in February 2020 with the support of the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (https://diacc.ca) and In-Sec-M (https://insecm.ca). For more information, please visit www.idlab.org.