Boosting European Union Quantum Technology Capability

Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark and Romania join initiative to explore quantum communication for Europe

In brief…

+  The four countries have agreed to work together with 20 other EU Member States towards the development of a quantum communication infrastructure (QCI) across Europe. The purpose of the QCI will be to boost European capabilities in quantum technologies, cybersecurity and industrial competitiveness.

Simon Kollerup, Denmark’s Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs:

The development of quantum technologies creates both new possibilities and new challenges. We find it important to support the reality that the consumers and businesses will find themselves in. As such, the EuroQCI could well develop itself into a useful tool here.

+  Brussels, Austria, Bulgaria and Romania signed the EuroQCI declaration, originally launched in June 2019. Its signatory countries will explore, together with the European Commission and with the support of the European Space Agency, the development and deployment within the next ten years of a European QCI. It would ultimately link sensitive public and private communication assets all over the EU, including its outermost regions, to develop a secure communication shield based on quantum technologies.

+  This would protect national and cross-border critical infrastructures, sensitive communications, financial transactions and will ensure the long-term storage of sensitive data in areas such as healthcare and national security. Other major regions of the world are investing in similar infrastructure.

+  In an important step towards making the QCI a reality, OPENQKD, a three-year pilot project funded by the Commission and set to run for three years, began work in September 2019. It is developing an experimental testbed using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), which makes use of the inherent randomness of quantum measurements to produce high quality cryptographic keys to secure the transmission and storage of sensitive information and data.

+  QKD has the potential to protect sensitive governmental communications, online voting systems, financial transactions and critical communication infrastructure, and ensure the long-term storage of sensitive health, national security and defence-related data, and will be the first service to make use of the QCI once it is operational.

Source:  European Commission.  Digibyte,  Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark and Romania join initiative to explore quantum communication for Europe…

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