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Merit Participates in Pilot National Federated Identity Management

Merit is pleased to share the following announcement with you. Announced yesterday by Internet2.Merit is participating in a nationwide pilot that aims to increase the adoption of an important and useful emerging technology: Federated Identity Management.
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Merit has a long history that spans four decades of collaborating with others to create IT solutions for education. It is in the same spirit of innovation that Merit understands the importance of providing Michigan a voice in shaping this significant effort at a national level. Federated Identity Management has a critical role to play in education technology today. Merit’s participation in the pilot is centered in working with our Members in Michigan to help them realize the benefits of Federated Identity.

As part of the pilot, Merit will work with interested Members to federate a service they currently use on their campus, such as Merit Cloud Media or Canvas learning management system, and others. Our goal is to help these Members discover efficiencies gained from Federated Identity Management and generate best practices and compelling use cases that will help grow the Federation in Michigan.

Merit Michigan ID is a regional Federated Identity Management solution for Members in Michigan. It provides a framework based on Federated Identity that enables participating organizations to provide access to shared resources, applications and content. Merit Michigan ID leverages the service relationships that already exist within the Merit Community.

If you would like more information, or would like to participate in the pilot, please contact your Member Relations Manager.

Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin Pilot Online Tools To Benefit Community Colleges and K-12 School Districts

Policies, processes and technologies to be explored for secure access

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Oct. 1, 2013
Education and technology leaders in eight states are collaborating with Internet2 to extend advanced trust and identity solutions used at the nation’s top universities to K-12 and community college students, faculty and staff as part of a set of pilots to help ease access to leading technology solutions.

Participating institutions will be able to use secure electronic credentials issued by their institutions to safely access a wide array of community and commercial educational resources. The nationwide pilots will draw on the experience of Internet2’s federated identity and access management framework, InCommon, which has been adopted by more than five hundred universities, research labs and commercial partners throughout the United States.

The pilots will explore the opportunities and challenges in deployment of these federated access solutions on local policies, technical environments, and business processes. It is expected that experiences from these pilots will make easier, more secure, and privacy-preserving methods of accessing protected cloud services available to all participants.

Internet2’s InCommon-which already reaches more than 6 million students, faculty, and staff nationwide-also allows for single sign-on capability. This capability will enable an individual at a local K-12 school to access library databases, learning management systems, cloud applications or other participating services as approved by the school without the worry of having to set up each student with individual unmanaged accounts. The institutions participating in the selected K-12 school districts and community college pilots connect to Internet2 through regional networks that also are members of The Quilt.

“The pilots are being conducted in partnership with the advanced regional networks supporting research and education,” said George Laskaris, CEO of New Jersey’s Higher Education Network, who serves on The Quilt Board of Directors. “Our hope is that this first round of pilots will provide important case studies and best practices that will help build secure trust frameworks for community colleges and K-12 schools as they ramp-up their access to outsourced services.”

“It’s now common for a faculty member in the course of teaching and scholarship to use their university credentials to access library databases, collaboration tools, data storage sites, and a host of other cloud services and online resources,” explained Jack Suess, chair of the Steering Committee for Internet2’s InCommon and vice president for information technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “We hope the Internet2 InCommon-Quilt pilots can begin to bring these same conveniences to the K-12 and community college communities.”

For more information on the pilots, visit

About The Quilt

The Quilt is the national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education, representing 31 networks across the country. Participants in The Quilt provide advanced network services and applications to over 250 universities and thousands of other educational institutions.

About Internet2

Internet2; is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions.

Internet2 consists of more than 220 U.S. universities, 60 leading corporations, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks and more than 100 national research and education networking partners representing more than 50 countries. Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Emeryville, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

About Internet2’s InCommon

Internet2’s InCommon; serves the U.S. higher education and research communities, supporting a common framework of trust services. Its 570 participating organizations take advantage of the U.S. identity management trust federation for research and education, a community-driven Certificate Service, an Assurance Program providing higher levels of trust, and a multifactor authentication program. InCommon participants include higher education institutions and research organizations, and their corporate sponsored partners.