The Luxembourg Quantum Communication Infrastructure Laboratory (LUQCIA) is being developed by the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) in conjunction with the Ministry of State’s Department of Media, Connectivity, and Digital Policy (SMC).
The 5-year project, which is part of the NextGenerationEU initiative and funded by the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, aims to build a national testbed in 2023 to allow innovative and applied research in quantum key distribution and quantum internet—a critical stage in the next generation of computing and internet usage.
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.
Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister and Minister for Communication and Media, The Luxembourg Government
The Minister of Finance, Yuriko Backes, added, “I would like to pay particular tribute to the pioneering role of SnT, in collaboration with the SMC, in the development of quantum communication technologies. It is one of the national Recovery and Resilience Plan’s key measures for the digital transition. The EU funds will actively support Luxembourg to improve the security of public sector communications as part of a wider European project.”
The LUQCIA infrastructure will give University of Luxembourg researchers unique tools to optimize cybersecurity for the upcoming quantum communication technology.
Stéphane Pallage, Rector, University of Luxembourg
Future-Proofing Secure Communication
The majority of the information users send and receive over the internet is encrypted and decrypted using keys. As computers get more powerful, the time it takes for a hacker to crack this encryption gets shorter and shorter.
However, Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a new discipline of cybersecurity, attempts to better safeguard user data even against quantum computers, an impending generation of very powerful computers that, if widely used, might leave the data vulnerable to attackers.
The goal of LUQCIA is to create and deploy a quantum-based ultra-secure communication infrastructure. Within the LUQCIA research infrastructure, the goal is to connect at least two geographical areas. LUQCIA will largely rely on a terrestrial network, with the space section being integrated through follow-up efforts.
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 realize the future of a quantum internet by interconnecting high-performance quantum computers.
Symeon Chatzinotas. Study Principal Investigator and Professor, University of Luxembourg
The LUQCIA lab will be available to national and international stakeholders for cooperative research activities once it is up and running in 2023 as part of SnT’s Partnership Program.