WASHINGTON— The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded a $749,241 Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) contract to Digital Bazaar, Inc. to develop fit-for-purpose blockchains for identity and access management.
Under the SBIR Phase II contract, the Blacksburg, Virginia-based technology company will develop a flexible software ecosystem that combines fit-for-purpose distributed ledger technology, digital credentials and digital wallets to address a wide variety of identity management and online access use cases for the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE). This research and development (R&D) project is being managed by the Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) Identity Management project. CSD is part of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency.
“Blockchain technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we manage online identity and access the internet,” said CSD Director Douglas Maughan. “This R&D project will help bring this potential closer to reality.”
Under its project titled “Fit-for-Purpose Blockchains/Identity and Access Management,” Digital Bazaar will build on its current platform to develop a standards-based digital credentialing solution coupled with a fit-for-purpose blockchain that will provide the new capabilities. Once completed, the enhanced product will be positioned as a Ledger As A Service (LaaS) platform. The company will deploy the LaaS platform in several HSE pilot projects to demonstrate its capability.
“Current blockchain implementations do not use any type of open standards to describe the data they work with. At the same time, scalable deployment requires such interoperability,” said S&T Identity Management Program Manager Anil John. “This blockchain project will deliver a solution that uses open standards developed via existing worldwide standards development organizations to ensure interoperability across blockchain implementations.”
Initiated in 2004, the DHS S&T SBIR program is a competitive contract awards program that increases the participation of innovative and creative U.S. small businesses in federal R&D initiatives and facilitates private-sector commercialization of SBIR-funded solutions. A SBIR Phase II awardee continues its R&D from a completed Phase I project that successfully affirms the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of a proposed effort. S&T’s CSD leverages the SBIR program to fund small business development of new and enhanced cybersecurity solutions. For more about the S&T SBIR program, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/sbir.
CSD’s mission is to enhance the security and resilience of the nation’s critical information infrastructure and the Internet by developing and delivering new technologies, tools and techniques to defend against cyberattacks. The division conducts and supports technology transitions and leads and coordinates R&D among the R&D community, which includes DHS customers, government agencies, the private sector and international partners. For more information about CSD, visit https://www.dhs.gov/cyber-research.