On March 9, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced that it is soliciting proposals to establish a steering group in support of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) and to provide the group with ongoing secretarial, administrative and logistical support. NIST anticipates supporting one proposal with approximately $2 million in funding for up to two years.
In April 2011, President Obama released NSTIC as a way to improve security in cyberspace and e-commerce. NSTIC charts a course for the public and private sectors to collaborate to raise the level of trust associated with the identities of individuals, organizations, networks, services and devices involved in online transactions.
"This grant will help to establish an independent steering committee led by the private sector that works in conjunction with the federal government to support NSTIC," said Jeremy Grant, NIST's senior executive advisor for identity management. "The committee will guide creation of an 'Identity Ecosystem' in which businesses and individuals can have more confidence in the security and privacy of their online transactions. The committee will also be responsible for identifying resources that will support the effort into the future."
Accredited institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations and commercial organizations located in the United States and its territories are eligible to submit a proposal for the NSTIC Steering Group Secretariat Cooperative Agreement. Proposers are expected to maintain a neutral stance toward the outcome of the steering group process and must agree not to become a voting member of the steering group.
The purpose of the cooperative agreement is to fund a secretariat for the steering group during its initial and early phases. A major role of the secretariat is to serve as an honest broker between multiple stakeholders, with a focus on facilitating the creation of consensus standards and policies that will serve as the foundation of the Identity Ecosystem. Given this, it is important that the entity selected through this funding opportunity be objective and independent.
The recently released Recommendations for Establishing an Identity Ecosystem Governance Structure for the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace ("Governance Recommendations") provides guidance for the steering committee and should serve as a "touchstone" for proposals, according to the solicitation. The report can be found at www.nist.gov/nstic/2012-nstic-governance-recs.pdf.
Applications are due on April 11, 2012. For detailed information and application requirements, see the entry at Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) for the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) Steering Group Secretariat Cooperative Agreement at http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&oppId=151313.
NIST will hold a webinar information session for organizations considering applying to this opportunity on Mon., March 19, 2012. Organizations wishing to participate in the webinar must register online.
On Thurs., March 15, NIST will host the NSTIC Identity Ecosystem Governance Workshop at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. The workshop will review and take questions on the Governance Recommendations and on specific issues concerning the establishment of the governance structure. For more information and to register for the workshop (which will also be webcast), go online.
Further information about this event and other upcoming NSTIC events will be available at: www.nist.gov/nstic.