DHS Awards $197K for Digital Credentials That Work Offline

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $197,020.95 Phase 1 funding to Stranger Labs, Inc. based in Cambridge, MA, to develop a digital credential solution that mitigates compromising the usability and convenience of paper-based credentials by making digital credentials verifiable offline.

Stranger Labs will enable issuance, exchange and verification of digital credentials in an isolated environment — directly between devices, with no internet, LAN, or cellular connectivity — without sacrificing integrity guarantees or the ability to establish credentials’ provenance while simultaneously enabling control of credentials from multiple devices. This offline solution proposes safe and secure digital credentials with paper-like usability and availability.

“Balancing the usability and convenience of paper-based credentials with the security possible using strong cryptographic methods is a well-known trade-off when it comes to the adoption and daily usage of digital credentials,” said Anil John, SVIP Technical Director. “Stranger Labs is developing technology that directly tackles this problem end-to-end while supporting broad interoperability based on emerging World Wide Web Consortium standards such as decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials.”

The Phase 1 award was made under S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) Other Transaction Solicitation Preventing Forgery & Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses seeking innovative solutions from start-ups to enhance anti-forgery and counterfeiting capabilities for digital documentation.

SVIP is one of S&T’s programs and tools to fund innovation and work with private sector partners to advance homeland security solutions. Companies participating in SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 of non-dilutive funding over four phases to develop and adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.

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