Research Projects

SDIKA – Showcase Digital Identity Karlsruhe

SDIKA connects people, organizations and processes

Start: 09/2021

End: 08/2024

Secure digital identities are an important driver of digital transformation because they can establish trust between interconnected systems, people, and organizations in diverse use cases from the public and private sector. None of today’s available solutions can solve all possible use cases on their own, given that the requirements may differ greatly due to varying degrees of regulation and business interests. However, the acceptance of a solution by people and organizations depends not only on its ease of use but also on the variety of supported applications.

The “Showcase Secure Digital Identity Karlsruhe” (SDIKA) project (SDIKA – Schaufenster Sichere Digitale Identitäten Karlsruhe) strives to achieve wide-ranging, cross-use-case identity solutions in open ecosystems. Technical, semantic and economic interoperability promote the use of solutions that guarantee high functionality, security, and sovereignty. The SDIKA project follows a triad of development of the location-independent “SDI-X system”, demonstration and evaluation in the Karlsruhe showcase, and the establishment of a supra-regional ecosystem.

The SDI-X system is intended to enable each acceptance point to connect all identity solutions existing in the ecosystem via a locally run “SDI-X adapter”. Following the SDIKA vision, people and organizations can individually choose between identity solutions of different types (in a cloud or locally on a smartphone). Application-specific and sovereign digital identities (e.g., the electronic ID card) are to be supported. The benefits will be demonstrated to citizens and organizations in the Karlsruhe showcase using relevant use cases from the areas of health, mobility, digital planning and construction, digital urban society, and e-government (e.g., the “Karlsruhe Pass”). SDIKA creates a regional ecosystem of acceptance points and trust services with close links to the city’s digital transformation strategy and makes digital identities tangible for Karlsruhe residents on a daily basis. At the end of the project the results will be made available nationwide.

The idea for SDIKA was developed during a short competition phase by a small consortium led by the FZI. In the meantime, SDIKA is one of four projects nationwide funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) as part of the “Secure Digital Identities Showcase” funding competition. The City of Karlsruhe, represented by the Office for Information Technology and Digitalization (“Amt für Informationstechnik und Digitalisierung”), coordinates the project. A total of 14 partners from all over Germany are working together on the project, including several participants from Karlsruhe and the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. The FZI is responsible, among other things, for the three design tasks – Usability & User Experience & Security Effects, Digital Sovereignty and Security, and Interoperability – and coordinates the work in the cross-cutting topic of Legal Issues.


Jan Sürmeli

Department Manager
Division: Innovation, Strategie und Transfer

Research focus

Safety, Security and the Law

The FZI focuses in this research area on the topics of resilience for critical infrastructures, managing security, legal tech and (post-)quantum cryptography, and also deals with the mutual influence of artificial intelligence on safety and security.

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