Featured In Focus Trust and identity

GÉANT and EUROfusion identity management collaboration means easier access to fusion research resources

Inside the JET tokamak with superimposed plasma: EUROfusion’s flagship device and the world’s largest operational fusion research facility, JET is crucial to the world of fusion research. This tokamak is the only one in the world capable of operation with the fusion fuel mixture deuterium-tritium and serves as a test-bed for the international ITER project. Copyright: CCFE

Research towards realising fusion energy will become just a little bit easier: fusion researchers in Europe will be able to use just one online identity to access all electronic research services that are connected to their community’s identity management systems. A collaboration between EUROfusion and the GÉANT Association has led to the successful pilot of an Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI) that integrates these systems in a single, seamless service.

With 28 member nations and more than 150 institutions participating around Europe, EUROfusion is a widespread community with many central services, tools and instruments that rely on their own identity management systems. This has made the management of access to those resources a challenge, both for the service providers and for the researchers who need to use them. The new AAI approach will allow EUROfusion to integrate services under its own AAI, and allow users to access them using their EUROfusion identity.

The new AAI approach is based on the GÉANT eduTEAMS offering, which enables the creation and management of virtual teams that can securely access and share common resources and services. This approach uses federated identities from trusted Identity Providers and the eduGAIN inter-federation service. This AAI follows the AARC Blueprint Architecture (the key result of the AARC project, which concluded in 2019) and was the work of the EUROfusion IT Group, represented by PSNC, and the EU-funded GÉANT Project during the past 1.5 years.

This successful pilot paves the way for the possible future uptake of the federated authentication and authorisation approach more widely within the fusion community.

About GÉANT and EUROfusion

GÉANT Association is the leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education. The EU-funded GÉANT Project incorporates the 500Gbps pan-European research and education network, a catalogue of advanced services, and a successful programme pushing the boundaries of networking technology to deliver real impact to over 50 million users. Trust and Identity (T&I) is a significant area of expertise within GÉANT Association and its extended community of national research and education networks (NRENs) and other organisations, providing services that build trust, promote security and support the use of online identities, through a range of activities and international collaborations.​​ See the GÉANT website and its Trust and Identity services pages.

EUROfusion, the ‘European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy’, manages and directs fundings to European fusion research activities on behalf of Euratom and in alignment with the EUROfusion Roadmap. The programme is currently focused on supporting ITER – the world’s largest fusion experiment, that is designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy for peaceful use – and its successor: DEMO, the European demonstration fusion power plant. See the EUROfusion website.

Further information

GÉANT is also working with the fusion research community in ITER, the most ambitious energy project of our times. Watch this space for an upcoming story about that work, or visit the GÉANT Impact site to see all stories about we and our community support data-driven research.