The University of Luxembourg‘s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT), in collaboration with the Department of Media, Connectivity and Digital Policy (SMC) of the Ministry of State, has announced the development of the Luxembourg Quantum Communication Infrastructure Laboratory (LUQCIA).
The project, scheduled for 5 years, will be funded by the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility in the context of the NextGenerationEU initiative.
Prime Minister and Minister for Communication and Media, Xavier Bettel, says, “Luxembourg wants to remain the state-of-the-art communication hub it has become over the last decade. That is why we have taken it upon ourselves, through SnT’s scientific leadership, to lay the groundwork for tomorrow’s quantum communication infrastructure.”
Future-proofing secure communication
Currently, most of the data exchanged over the internet are secured through keys that encrypt and decrypt information. As computers get more computing power, the time taken by a hacker to break this encryption becomes shorter and shorter.
However, an emerging field of cybersecurity, called quantum key distribution (QKD), aims to better secure our data even against quantum computers – an upcoming generation of ‘powerful’ computers that, when launched on a wide scale, could leave information wide open to attackers.
LUQCIA aims to develop and implement a communication infrastructure based on quantum technology by connecting at least two geographical sites within the LUQCIA research infrastructure. The project’s aim is to build a national testbed in 2023 to enable advanced and applied research in quantum key distribution and quantum internet – which is believed to be a vital stage in the next generation of computing and internet usage.
Principal Investigator of the project, Prof. Symeon Chatzinotas, says, “Developing a robust quantum communication infrastructure leveraging both terrestrial and satellite optical links will guarantee the security of our data in our communications network well into our future. It will also help to realise the future of a quantum internet by interconnecting high-performance quantum computers.”
Once up and running in 2023, the LUQCIA lab will be open to national and international stakeholders for joint research activities within the framework of SnT’s Partnership Programme.
The Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg conducts internationally competitive research in information and communication technology.
In addition to long-term, high-risk research, SnT claims to engage in demand-driven collaborative projects with industry and the public sector through its Partnership Programme. The resulting concepts present a long-lasting competitive advantage for companies in Luxembourg and beyond.
The University of Luxembourg
It is an international research university founded in 2003 and counts nearly 7,000 students and over 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History.
Additionally, the University also focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine.
About the Recovery and Resilience Facility
Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) aims to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.
The RRF will help the EU achieve its target of climate neutrality by 2050 and set Europe on a path of digital transition, creating jobs and spurring growth in the process.
Luxembourg’s recovery and resilience plan contains 20 measures (8 reforms and 12 investments), which will help the country become more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions. Those measures will be financed by €93M in grants. 61 per cent of the plan will support climate objectives and 32 per cent will foster the digital transition.