QCI-CAT forms the Austrian subproject of the European Commissions EuroQCI initiative. With this, the EU will transform their way of communication to a new, groundbreaking form with security guarantee – granted by the laws of nature. With our top level researchers at five different universities, large industrial partners with grand expertise in security topics and great cooperations from Austrian ministries, QCI-CAT will be one of the prime examples to contribute to EuroQCIs overall endeavor. Our consortium is bringing together a mature ecosystem of technology suppliers, integrators & operators and finally end-users, which will allow the project to perform its activities as close as possible to the real operation of QKD secured communication networks.
As a cornerstone for data autonomy, data security has become a fundamental necessity. With regards to the public sector and critical infrastructures, it safeguards economic competitiveness and sustainable national security. Technological breakthroughs in the form of quantum computers threatens our current encryption methods, therefore, developments of novel encryption technologies and systems that are proven to be “quantum-safe” are necessary. The importance of data security is underpinned by the 10-years research and innovation program “EuroQCI Quantum Communication Infrastructure”. Building on the long research experience of Austrian institutions in the field of quantum technologies, the project QCI-CAT aims at an adoption of modern encryption technology based on QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) for highly secure communication between public authorities. For this purpose, a QKD demonstration network will be installed in Vienna, which will connect the Federal Chancellery (BKA) as a central node with three other federal ministries BMLV, BMEIA and BMK. Building on a close cooperation between research partners and industrial companies, QCI-CAT will investigate and verify new security applications for public authorities, such as secret sharing and message authentication. Close cooperation between stakeholders ensures that the development of QKD-based security technology is driven from viewpoint of an IT end-user. QCI-CAT will also leverage a test and demonstration infrastructure to research new technological approaches such as the combination of post-quantum encryption technology with QKD, long-distance QKD with secured trusted nodes and field trials of quantum repeaters. Moreover, the results of QCI-CAT will constitute the basis for the strong positioning of Austria within the European EuroQCI initiative. The outcomes will also be shared with other neighboring countries and built upon with planning of cross-border links for a fully connected EuroQCI.
Official project lead
This project has received funding from the European Union‘s Digital Europe Work Programme 2021‐2022 under Project number: 101091642.