All questions answered by Prof. Dr. Valerio Pruneri from the Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain.
What do you want to achieve in this project?
Ever-increasing computational capabilities, including quantum computers, pose serious threat to the digital data security. Our belief is that integration of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) into modern telecom networks is a realistic strategy to provide long-term reliable data privacy. Continuous Variable QKD (CV-QKD) is a protocol in which electric field amplitudes are directly measured using coherent detection, a method widely used in today's coherent optical telecommunication. Starting from requirements of major telecom operators, CiViQ will develop cost-effective and flexible CV-QKD systems. This has the potential to kick-start a new industry around quantum-enhanced security. The project will also investigate novel QKD protocols and theoretical approaches that can help pave the way for future quantum networks operating on a global scale.
How will European citizens benefit from this project, both from the technology developments it accomplishes as well as the basic science breakthroughs it may achieve?
Guaranteeing the security of digital data is extremely important. Today, individuals, industries and goverments use the network to transmit sensitive data, such as health, financial and defense information. CiViQ will achieve safe and secure transmission of the sensitive data, which will be of immense help in protecting the privacy of the European citizens. The successful outcomes of CiViQ will allow for a fundamentally new type of communication networks, which provide enhanced security to the use of everyday Internet. In addition, basic science breakthroughs achieved in CiViQ will allow for secure commucation over longer distances and at higher rates, as well as developing systems compatible with future quantum networks.
Why is the Quantum Flagship important and why did you choose to become part of it?
Over the last decades, there have been remarkable research advances in quantum technologies, with a prospect of enormous impact on our society. However, quantum technologies have not yet been widely adopted and their use has been very limited. The Quantum Flagship is key to bringing quantum technologies into society, which,for instance, could revolutionise many fields, such as computation, communications and sensing. The CiViQ consortium consists of 21 partners with unique breaths of experience, involving telecommunication companies and industrial integrators, as well as developers of quantum key distribution systems and theory. We chose to join the flagship since we believe our combined expertise provides the synergy needed to significantly push wide-scale deployment of quantum technology.
How do you see the advancement of quantum technologies in the near future and what would be your ultimate dream in the long run?
Quantum technologies are predicted to have a significant impact on all the major aspects of life in the near future including fundamentally new ways of communication, successfully simulating complex quantum systems, designing new drugs, solving computational problems that were thought to be impossible before. Our ultimate dream would be to push these technologies well beyond the state-of-the-art frontier to reach worldwide data communications, where security is unconditionally guaranteed by the laws of quantum physics.