III CertiDigital Conference: “Implementing digital credentials with ELM in EDC and EBSI”

July 12, 2023

On June 20 and 21, the III CertiDigital Conference “Implementing digital credentials with ELM in EDC and EBSI” was held at the University of Oviedo. With more than 400 years of history and in the heart of the city, the Historic Building of the University of Oviedo hosted this event, with an attendance of 55 people representing the 23 partner universities of the Project. In this edition of the Face-to-face Conference, it is remarkable the participation in the closing of D. Joan Subirats, H.E. Minister of Universities of the Government of Spain.

Apart from publicizing the status of the project, the main purpose of the event was to be able to deepen the design of credentials based on ELM, and to know the novelties of the v3 version, something that was brought to us first-hand by the NTT Data team including members who actively participate in the Europass parallel projects of the European Commission.

The first day continued with work in small groups, where the teams of each University had the opportunity to present the digital credentials of their use cases to NTT Data, who were also able to solve some doubts about the preparation of the credentials. There was much left to be able to deepen in many of the cases, so that they have enabled means so that the work can continue beyond the session, but the workshops were enriching above all for the exchange of experiences, advances and opinions between the partner universities.

Additionally, in these workshops it seems that a consensus was reached regarding two needs that are fundamental when it comes to moving in a good line:

  • Have a detailed documentation of the ELM model, which includes not only a description of the main entities but a dictionary of terms that collects the almost 500 attributes that the model has.
  • Start a path that allows us to outline a documentation of good practices in the design of digital credentials for learning, which, although it is within the scope of the SUE, will help us to model similar things in a similar way in each University.

The first day concluded with a presentation by NTT about the possibilities of automation and integration with third-party systems (ERPs, LMS, etc …) that CertiDigital will have, which are the APIs on which the development team is already working and that in a few weeks will be available to explain them and to share documentation.

Thanks to the organization of the event by the University of Oviedo, at the end of the first day we were able to enjoy the wonderful surroundings, with a guided tour of the city center in which we could know fantastic monuments full of history, as well as learn curiosities of this beautiful city. And how can it be otherwise, we regained strength in a pleasant cider house.

The fundamental objective of the second day was to address the second part of the CertiDigital project, which is the integration with EBSI blockchain technology from two perspectives:

  1. Publicize what this technology contributes to the universe of verifiable digital credentials, explaining how interactions are carried out in this type of scenarios more disruptive and novel than the most traditional seen the previous day.
  2. Explain to the partner universities the range of developments and services that CertiDigital will incorporate in this part of integration with EBSI technology, which has already been transferred to a public tender and specifications, whose main aspects were discussed in this section of the event.

Before the closing of the conference, an interesting round table was held in which very relevant aspects were discussed, in the line of understanding what obstacles and strengths the passage from a pilot in the issuance and use of digital credentials to a more industrialized framework that already requires involving academic areas, administrative, technological and in many cases to the governing bodies of universities. The table helped in another of the objectives of the Conference that was to facilitate reflection, active participation and the culture of collaboration between the participating universities and their respective work teams.

Por último, para la clausura de las Jornadas, pudimos contar con el inestimable apoyo de D. Joan Subirats, Excmo. Sr. ministro de Universidades del Gobierno de España, quien expresó su respaldo al proyecto, destacando la importancia del mismo dentro del abanico de actuaciones en el marco de fomentar las microcredenciales y credenciales verificables a nivel estatal y europeo. We ended the conference with the inspiring comments of Mr. Ignacio Villaverde Menéndez, Rector of the University of Oviedo, Mr. Carlos Delgado Kloos, Carlos III University of Madrid, and Secundino González Pérez, University of Oviedo.

The face-to-face sessions of the CertiDigital project are a key space for meeting, exchange and active collaboration between the various professional profiles of the 23 partner universities. The scheduled sessions allow to deepen the theoretical frameworks and the technologies involved, as well as to align visions, strategies and actions around the common objectives of the project.
Participation in this Conference is aimed especially at people with educational, administrative and technical-computer profiles of the use cases of digital credentials in the different partner universities of the CertiDigital project. Pre-registration is required via the invitation-only link.