For a Human-Centered AI

E-Wallet: the Italian experimentation of the EU digital wallet to start from the Autonomous Province of Trento

May 26, 2023

The project was presented, that sees the area of Trento at the center of the tests for the implementation of the European Digital Identity Wallet conducted by PagoPA - based on the IO app experience - in cooperation with Fondazione Bruno Kessler and Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, today guests of the HIT Foundation at the Trento Festival of Economics.

The Autonomous Province of Trento will be the first in Italy to test some use cases of the European digital wallet: a system that will allow EU citizens, residents and businesses to certify their identity in a fully secure manner, without the need to provide copies, photocopies, stamped papers or other bureaucracy to access public and private services in all member states. The nationwide test will thus implement one of the projects of the POTENTIAL Consortium, which is among the large-scale pilots selected by the European Commission to make the first applications of the European Digital Identity Wallet concrete. In addition to the Autonomous Province of Trento, the initiative involves PagoPA S.p.A (in the role of wallet provider) along with the Department for Digital Transformation (DTD), Fondazione Bruno Kessler and Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (IPZS). The announcement of the testing of the digital wallet in the Trentino region came during the panel “The European wallet: a strategic choice for Italy,” organized by Fondazione Hub Innovazione Trentino (HIT) hosted at Fondazione Caritro during the 18th edition of the Trento Festival of Economics.

The framework proposed by the European Commission envisages the creation of a digital wallet, available through a smartphone app that the user will fully control,  thanks to which he or she, on a voluntary basis and with the maximum guarantee of privacy and security, will be able to share certificates and officially sign documents in just a few clicks throughout Europe. Each member state will provide citizens with an e-Wallet free of charge, but citizens will not be obliged to use it.

In June, with the official launch of POTENTIAL, the implementation of one of the e-wallet solutions involving Italy will start with the testing of the first use cases during 2024. The trial that will start in the Autonomous Province of Trento will focus on: identification and authentication for the use of digital public services (eGov); digital driver’s license; and electronic medical prescription (ePrescription). Thanks to PagoPA’s involvement, IO, the public services app will be the wallet; it has been identified both as a model for defining the international wallet standard and for implementing the national digital wallet.

Councillor for Economic Development, Research and Labor of the Autonomous Province of Trento Achille Spinelli is satisfied with the project. He said, “We are convinced that the European digital wallet represents one, if not the most important, of the enabling factors for the realization of the true digital society and we are very happy, as a Trentino system, to be involved together with PagoPA, in the POTENTIAL project, co-financed by the European Commission, which represents one of the most promising experimentation initiatives at the continental level. The strategic partnership with a major player such as PagoPA, is based on a common vision of adherence to the European model of a digital society that is anthropocentric and respectful of fundamental rights, and that shares with it the awareness that relevant results can only be achieved by deploying resources of excellence.”

Hosted by Fondazione HIT in the setting of the Festival of Economics, some of the protagonists of the Italian-scale pilot project delved into the impact this innovation will have on people’s digital habits in the coming years.

“The European wallet is an extraordinary integration project that will make it possible for citizens to use services offered by public and private operators throughout Europe.  It is the next step from free roaming, allowing us to use our smartphones in the EU at no extra cost. For example, we will be able to provide proof of identity, sign documents or buy medicines anywhere in Europe,” commented Roberto Viola, Director-General of DG CONNECT at the European Commission.

“The European digital identity challenge has important benefits for citizens and institutions. To win it, however, attention must be paid to two crucial aspects: security, and privacy. In line with this approach, FBK has set up an entire center to the topic of Cybersecurity and devotes special attention and care to identifying and securing data and privacy by developing automated tools that can improve systems. For this, the Foundation collaborates with the main Italian players on the topic of Digital Wallet and at the European level with the entire scientific community active on the topic,” specified Andrea Simoni, secretary general of Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

“We are proud to bring to the benefit of the partners of the POTENTIAL Consortium the successful experience gained to date by the IO app, on which Italy has chosen to base the public Digital Wallet model recognizing its main strengths: a government digital asset already widespread among citizens, whose security, scalability, resilience requirements have been extensively tested and that has been developed with technologies marked by supranational interoperability. Experimenting in Trento with the first applications of the European e-wallet alongside Italian organizations of excellence such as FBK confirms the value of collaboration between institutions, local communities, public companies, research centers and private companies so that every innovation can be effectively applied at the system level,” highlighted Maurizio Fatarella, Director General of PagoPA S.p.A.

“The Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato creates the documents, systems and services that attest to the identity of citizens with a constant focus on innovation. We have long been engaged, also in collaboration with FBK, in the study and development of new models and tools for physical and digital identity that represent a point of synthesis between security, privacy, inclusion and interoperability. On the strength of this experience and the guarantee role we express on behalf of the Italian government, we are actively participating in the main national and EU initiatives that are defining the new European scenario of identity and related services, centered on the digital wallet,” added Antonio Gentile, Head of Product Development, Technologies and Innovation at the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato.

“The issue of digital identity is and will be increasingly central for citizens, businesses and PAs.  A shared objective on the part of institutions will have to be to invest in the enhancement of the European wallet as a tool capable not only of efficiently and securely dematerializing existing digital identities and credentials, but also and above all of fostering the development and use of innovative public and private services for citizens and businesses, creating synergies between different sectors and countries. In line with this approach, the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation is committed to supporting the ecosystem for digital innovation through incentive and support actions aimed at bringing third-sector organizations and startups closer to “open” digital innovation projects. An example in this sense is the Call for Proposals “Evolutions – digital transition in the social economy” launched in 2022 in collaboration with Fondazione Cariplo to rethink organizational models and service delivery, looking at digital transition as an enabling factor for innovation and inclusion,” concluded Francesco Profumo, Compagnia di San Paolo President.


Hub Innovazione Trentino (HIT) Press release

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