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As part of the Quilt InCommon Initiative to Extend Federation to K12 and Community Colleges, a subgroup is exploring Federation Partnership Business Models. The subgroup has identified five potential partnership models that could be adopted by regional network providers or other consortial R&E support organizations to leverage the existing relationships with their constituents to reduce the cost and effort required to include new entities like K12, community colleges, and libraries in the federation.  These models are:

  1. Facilitation and Support. The regional provides support services to help its constituents become full-fledged InCommon Participants.
  2. Business Partnership. The regional partners with InCommon to perform certain administrative tasks that it can do more effectively than InCommon (e.g., organizational identity vetting), because of the regional's existing relationships. The constituent is a full-fledged InCommon Participant in this model.
  3. Technical Steward. The regional performs tasks, such as metadata submission, under contract to its constituents. The constituent is a full-fledged InCommon Participant in this model.
  4. Full Service Steward Model. Constituents' IdPs and SPs are included in the federation through the regional's InCommon membership.  Constituents are not themselves InCommon Participants.  In general, the services offered by the regional are a combination of the Business Partnership and Technical Steward models, but the regional also takes on some legal responsibility for its represented constituents in this model.
  5. Full Federation Operator. The regional operates a federation separate from InCommon.  Interoperation between the two sets of IdPs and SPs would be subject to interfederation agreements similar to what are currently be discussed internationally.

More information about the models is in Federation Business Partnership Models (Draft).

Current work is on the terms and conditions that are required for the Full Service Steward Model, and a cost model will be discussed soon.  Other models will be considered after completion of the current work, according to interest expressed in those other models.

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