HEAnet and Irish quantum technology experts are coming together to collaborate on a €10 million network project, designed to protect the transmission of sensitive data across the whole EU. The Quantum Communications Infrastructure (QCI) is the first for Ireland and will be deployed over the next two years by IrelandQCI. The main function of this new QCI staging network is to enable an ultra-secure form of encryption which aims to protect the transmission of sensitive data and deter cyberattacks. This program will use quantum channels over pre-existing fiber-optic cables to build a network backbone from Dublin to Cork via Waterford.
Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications Ossian Smyth welcomed the new development at Trinity College Dublin December 22, 2022. “I’m delighted that our experts have pooled together so effectively to kick start Ireland’s Quantum Ecosystem.
The Irish Government is committing €5 million, matching the €5 million funding from the EU funding secured by IrelandQCI. The €10 million IrelandQCI is part of an EU-wide quantum communications infrastructure called EuroQCI and is being funded by the Irish Government and the EU. HEAnet is among a conglomerate of research institutions, universities and ESB Telecoms that will collaborate on the 30 month-long pilot project and will be led by Waterford-based, Walton Institute.
Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications Ossian Smyth TD said, “We are lucky to have such a high quality and committed community of experts in Ireland in the quantum field.”
The EU seeks to make the EuroQCI a cornerstone of its new cybersecurity plan and in turn strengthen the defense of Europe’s governmental institutions and those of its data centers, hospitals, energy grids, education and research institutions and other facilities.