Start of the future Quantum Internet research program in Catalonia with Next Generation funds

El programa de recerca coordinat per l’ICFO, i The research program coordinated by ICFO, with participation of IFAE, ICN2, UB, UPC and UAB, aims to develop technologies for the future Quantum Internet.

A new research program  that aims to carry out research on quantum technologies, with the ultimate goal of being applied in the future European Quantum Internet, has been officially launched with the participation of six research institutions based in Catalonia. The project has been funded with 15 MEUR over the next three years, of which 9.7 MEUR have been funded by the European Union Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, through the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and 5.3 MEUR allocated by the Generalitat de Catalunya through the Department of Research and Universities.

Participating institutions in the program include ICFO – the Institute of Photonic Sciences, the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE), the University of Barcelona (UB), the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).

Valerio Pruneri, ICFO researcher, leader of the European Quantum Communications program and general coordinator of the “Quantum Communication” project, introduced the main objectives. During the event, the strategic lines of the program were presented, emphasizing the lines of action and the different subprojects that will be developed regarding the software and hardware arenas within the framework of this initiative. Then, several transversal projects were commented as possible first steps in achieving considerable synergies and future collaborations at a European level.

The implementation this project is a clear example of how advanced this area of ​​knowledge is, a basis on which the foundations of major European initiatives are being laid. This is the case of EuroQCI (European Quantum Communications Infrastructure), whose objective is to build a quantum communications infrastructure in Europe, both through terrestrial quantum connections as well as satellite connections to cover great distances and span the entire continent.

In the short run, quantum communications are of great interest in the world of telecommunications, specifically in the field of cybersecurity, to offer an additional security layer to the currently existing technologies for secure transmission of data and information over the Internet. The ultimate goal is the implementation of the so-called Quantum Internet, which will connect all kinds of quantum systems, such as computers, processors, simulators and sensors, through a network capable of distributing rigorously quantum resources, such as the so-called quantum entanglement, through a conventional telecommunications network reinforced with quantum elements.

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