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Belgian Quantum Communication Infrastructure


Objective of the project

Belgium has world-leading expertise in quantum key distribution (QKD), the surrounding photonics technologies, cryptography and cybersecurity. Yet, no actual QKD links were demonstrated in the country thus far. Be-QCI aims to change this and deploy the first QKD network in Belgium. We will make use of various QKD technologies (DV-QKD, MDI-QKD, CV-QKD, and satellite QKD), which will be interfaced with each other, in several different topologies. This variety of QKD systems will cover a wide range of deployment scenarios, which will be shared with stakeholders, and give flexibility in reaching many different use cases, including governmental institutions, datacenters, and research centers.

As the QCI-national call aims to strengthen expertise and industry in the domain of quantum communications, we are further including a few well selected research lines addressing current limitations of QKD deployment: high cost, limited distance, and security limitations of various forms (security of some novel QKD protocols, security of the complete communication chain, authentication). Those developments will be carried out in Belgian universities already possessing the required expertise.

Importantly, some of those are made in cooperation with other EU27 partners to indeed raise the maturity of EU27 QKD terminal equipment and gain not only EU sovereignty but even international leadership in the field. The cooperation with other EU27 Member States also includes the deployment of a QKD link to Luxembourg, a neighbor country, and preparation of further cross-border links with the Netherlands, France and Germany.

The Be-QCI consortium consists of research centers, an internet provider, several industrial partners and a series of universities, together forming a solid basis for the final pillar of the project: a strong emphasis on training both the current and future workforce, and widely disseminating the experience gained from the deployment phase and the use cases.

Project BeQCI is co-funded by the EU through the Digital Europe program and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) through the Federal restart and transition plan.





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