Since the first quantum revolution in the early twentieth century, a whole range of applications in the field of scientific research but also in our daily life (laser, electronics, satellite-based positioning, medical imagery, etc.) have emerged. Quanta are everywhere!
The second quantum revolution is now underway. The satellite-based services as well as the EU space programmes must seize this opportunity and make the best and most strategic use of quantum technologies to improve the daily life of EU citizens. The EU must lead the race towards the development of quantum technologies for space applications in the fields of secure communication, time and frequency services, earth sensing and observation as well as the use of quantum computing for space data processing and mission planning.
Investing in quantum-based pan-European infrastructures is a priority for the European Commission. Developing and deploying a Quantum Communication Infrastructure (QCI) with a terrestrial and space segment represents one of the priorities towards which the European Commission is working. The Quantum initiative intends to mature the new technologies, perform the qualification for space with the ultimate goal to provide better space-based services to EU citizens and in some cases overcome the limitations and the challenges of the current generation of quantum technologies. Therefore, the definition of the use cases and related QCI infrastructure, the R&D support to mature the technologies as well as the definition and the launch of the testbeds are important steps towards the deployment of the QCI. In this regard, the cooperation with Member States and the European Space agency (ESA) is essential to deploy an operational secure quantum communication infrastructure for the whole EU.