IrelandQCI Plenary 2, CONNECT Centre, Trinity College Dublin.
IrelandQCI ‘Building a National Quantum Communication Infrastructure for Ireland’ incorporates integrating innovative and secure quantum devices and systems into conventional communication infrastructure. The project aim is establishing an infrastructure for Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a method of communication based on sharing encryption keys using quantum physics in a manner that boosts security, which will be distributed over the existing classical network, creating a quantum communication network that will provide a huge increase to information security in Ireland.
Co-funded by the Irish Government’s Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the European Commission’s Digital Europe Programme, working to achieve the IrelandQCI project objectives are researchers and experts from several university and industry partners across Ireland, bringing together a diverse and innovative consortium to deliver this initiative.
On Thursday 8th February 2024, representatives of the consortium of partners met for the second IrelandQCI Plenary, at the SFI CONNECT Centre, Trinity College Dublin. The in-person meeting offered the opportunity for project partners to come together face-to-face to discuss the latest project developments, and share insights and updates within their work packages.
What was covered at the plenary?
- The opportunity for Work Package Leads to present and discuss updates and actions that have taken place since the initial project kick off plenary in 2023.
- Work package leaders presented update on their ongoing work, that addresses key project objectives, at this 12 month stage in the project timeline. This included updates on the quantum network, quantum encryption, cryogenic stations, quantum coexistence, use case management, EuroQCI collaboration, education and training, and quantum packaging.
- An overview of communication and dissemination activities to date with a look forward at future activities, and a management overview of the project including current status, milestones achieved, upcoming deliverables due and next step requirements.
With progress well underway in establishing the quantum network across the existing classical backbone between Dublin, Waterford and Cork, there are exciting upcoming milestones in the year ahead, and partners came away invigorated for the next phase.
Waterford’s Walton Institute, at South East Technological University (SETU), is leading the IrelandQCI project on behalf of the SFI Research Centre CONNECT, with partners specialising in quantum technologies at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Cork (UCC)’s Tyndall National Institute, with support from University College Dublin (UCD) and Maynooth University (MU) and the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at University of Galway. HEAnet and ESB Telecoms are also key partners in the project, as the quantum communications network is being built across the dark fibre optic network of ESB Telecoms parallel to the existing HEAnet backbone between Dublin, Waterford and Cork.