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TOPIC : Quantum Key Distribution testbed

Topic identifier: SU-ICT-04-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Boosting the effectiveness of the Security Union (SU)

Types of action: IA Innovation action
DeadlineModel:
Opening date:
single-stage
26 July 2018
Deadline: 14 November 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Europe's economic activities and Europe's single market is dependent on well-functioning underlying digital infrastructures, services and data integrity, not the least for critical infrastructures like energy, transport, health, finance, etc. Current security of the digital infrastructures and services will soon be under threat of no longer providing long-term security. Confidentiality of data and communications, authentication, as well as the long-term integrity of stored data have to be guaranteed, even in the advent of quantum computers. Introducing Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) in the underlying infrastructure has the potential to maintain end-to-end security in the long-term.

Scope:

Building an experimental platform to test and validate the concept of end-to-end security, providing quantum key distribution as a service. Proposals should develop an open, robust, reliable and fully monitored metropolitan area testbed network (ring or mesh configuration). The aim is to integrate equipment, components, protocols and network technologies with QKD systems and current digital security and communication networks. Where necessary, R&D activities can be addressed. The testbed should be modular, to test different components, configurations and approaches from multiple suppliers and benchmark the different approaches against overall performance. The proposed solutions should demonstrate resistance against known hacking techniques, including quantum hacking techniques. The testbed should make use as much as possible of existing network infrastructure (fibres and/or satellites), provide a quantum key exchange rate compatible with concrete application requirements over metropolitan distances (i.e. of at least 40km). The proposed testbed should demonstrate different applications and use cases of QKD (including for authentication), optimizing end-to-end security rather than the security of individual elements.

Proposals should include an assessment of the applications and parts of the infrastructure for which the integration of QKD is economically justified, as well as an assessment of the minimal acceptable key rate for each application and its total cost of ownership.

Proposals should bring together relevant stakeholders such as telecommunication equipment manufacturers, users, network operators, QKD equipment providers, digital security professionals and scientists.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

For grants awarded under this topic the Commission may object to a transfer of ownership or the exclusive licensing of results to a third party established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020. The respective option of Article 30.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Expected Impact:
  • Demonstrating the feasibility of quantum communication networks.
  • Validation of quantum network technologies, architectures, protocols, including broader cryptographic services based on QKD infrastructure.
  • Interoperability of quantum and classical networks, as well as multi-vendor interoperability.
  • Development of standards for QKD components, equipment and protocols.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)
Cybersec

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.

 

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.

 

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.

 

3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme. 
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

 

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

For grants awarded under this topic the Commission may object to a transfer of ownership or the exclusive licensing of results to a third party established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020. The respective option of Article 30.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
5. Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs) WP 2018-20
5i. Information and communication technologies (ICT) WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

 

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

 


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Type of Action Innovation action [IA]
Topic Quantum Key Distribution testbed - SU-ICT-04-2019
Guidance on proposal submission: H2020 online manual
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