9-million euro project unites German quantum stakeholders
27.01.2023 - SQuaD brings together players from research and industry to transfer scientific findings in the field of quantum communication into application.
Quantum communication promises tap-proof transmission of information by exploiting quantum mechanical effects. One of the most widely researched use cases at present is quantum-based key distribution. After intensive research in this field, the technological leap into industry is now imminent: the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding 36 institutions in the Innovation Hub for Quantum Communication to link research institutes and companies. The accompanying umbrella project “Schirmprojekt Quantenkommunikation Deutschland – SQuaD” is coordinated by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in close cooperation with the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and brings together players from research and industry. It also expands existing test environments for quantum communication technology.
“Our main goal over the next few years is to ensure that companies and research institutions are well networked so that they benefit from each other in close exchange," explains Dr Nicolas Spethmann, coordinator of the umbrella project. "The use of quantum-based key distribution to complement post-quantum cryptography can contribute significantly to Germany’s IT security and technological sovereignty.” Another task of SQuaD is to lay the foundations for the emerging ecosystem in quantum¬communication, for example by providing test environments, reliable setups for testing components, and driving standardization and certification. The aim is to ensure that Germany and Europe are independent in the field of quantum communications and are not dependent on non-European equipment suppliers.
The following players met for a first intensive exchange at PTB in Berlin: Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Braunschweig and Berlin, Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Bonn, Keequant, Fürth, Quantum Business Network, Munich, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, the two Fraunhofer Institutes for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Karlsruhe, and Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, Jena, Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI Berlin, Leibniz University Hanover, and Quantum Optics Jena.
SQuaD is intended – as a kind of control center – to bring together existing research results with the industrial development of components, systems and solutions for quantum communication. In close collaboration with the industry-led projects funded in the Quantum Communication Innovation Hub, further activities for a prosperous quantum communication ecosystem will also be addressed. This includes strengthening collaboration via workshops and joint working platforms as well as standardization and aspects of IT security with a view to their certifiability. All of these components promote the chances of success for technology transfer. SQuaD has a total funding volume of around nine million euros for a period of forty months.
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
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