European alliance to facilitate online procedures
22 February 2021 15:51 GMT

Gradiant leads a project to develop a technology capable of verifying the identity of citizens in online processes of public services in a secure, easy-to-use and private way.

To do so, the alliance will work on the concept of Electronic Identity (eID), the way users can identify themselves through the network and will use Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies to ensure the process. This is IMPULSE (Identity Management in PUbLic  SErvices), an initiative with a budget of around four million euros and involving up to 15 entities from 9 different countries. 

Beyond its functionalities, IMPULSE seeks to be a tool to make easier the digitalisation of the  European public sector. Digital processes are increasingly used by citizens. The current health crisis around the world has limited personal interactions, digitizing all kinds of procedures.

This brings a number of problems, not only for those unfamiliar with the complex identification systems on the internet but also for those who are not comfortable providing their personal data over the internet. 

The 16 partners that make up this consortium will create a tool to meet all the ethical and legal  requirements so it can be useful for public services in all the countries of the European Union,  regardless of their culture and degree of digitalisation.

IMPULSE will become the clear representation of an efficient, useful and safe modernisation. The combination of Artificial  Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain will offer a technology advantage over the most common systems today. This was confirmed earlier this week at the project kick-off meeting.

At the event, all partners were very optimistic about the results that the initiative will offer and the pace of work that is expected to be maintained throughout the project thanks to the experience and professionalism of those involved. 

The consortium, made up of partners from Spain, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland,  Iceland, France and Denmark, is funded by the European Union with €4 million under the Horizon 2020 programme. Spain will receive more than €1.1 million in funding. 

“The digitalisation of public administration services is one of the seven flagship initiatives  identified in the NextGen Europe programme, which gives an idea of the strategic dimension of IMPULSE. In this context, the project was born with a clear objective of facilitating the access  of citizens to these services but without giving up the maximum guarantees of security,  something essential if we want to move towards a fully digitised and inclusive society”, explains Luis Pérez-Freire, executive director at Gradiant, the Spanish RTO leading the IMPULSE  project. 

IMPULSE will develop a system to respond to the needs of citizens and public administrations in digital processes. 

IMPULSE’s innovation focuses on combining two of the most promising technologies available today, such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain networks, with the aim of improving the management of digital identity and electronic identification in the public sector. 

Most citizens have an electronic identity card to carry out the authentication processes with  the online services offered by the administration; however, its use is cumbersome due in large  part to the lack of user-friendly interfaces for the common citizen.

To overcome this adversity,  IMPULSE will incorporate advanced face biometrics and document validation techniques  based on AI to facilitate identification processes and provide the user with a digital onboarding  experience that is fully transparent. 

In addition, blockchain technology and the use of smart contracts will allow adding  trustworthiness in the process, providing mechanisms for users to demonstrate their identity  without the need to disclose their personal data to third parties, a priori, not reliable. In this way  the citizen will maintain total control of their data and will be able to verify at all times the use  that is being given to them. 

 

 

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