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EuroQCI Spain brings together Quantum Communications experts and prospective end-users to Bilbao for the QCI Forum

Ten years ago, research related to quantum technologies was incubating inside labs and academic centers, concentrated into islands where novel ideas and knowledge were emerging. But just a few years later, experts began to see the possibility of learning how to manipulate microscopic systems and play to their advantage in creating a new field of technology that could revolutionize the world.

We are now living at the crest of the wave of the second quantum revolution, open to new horizons of unexpected discoveries aiming to go far beyond the unfathomable prospects that many have been dreaming of for decades.

And as new accomplishments in the field reach the media and the general public, we want to demonstrate the mature stage at which we can find all these technologies based on quantum physics and highlight the current applications being developed.

With this in mind, from the 28-29 of November, the consortium partner of EUROQCI Spain, Tecnobit -Grupo Oesia, organized in the city of Bilbao the Quantum Communication Innovation (QCI) Forum, an event that aimed to gather experts from all areas of the supply chain – academia, component and subcomponent developers, telecom operators, end-users- eager  to discuss, exchange ideas and establish synergies to tackle and overcome the future challenges in the field of deployment of quantum communication technologies in Europe

Basque Country Explores Quantum Technology Solutions

Mr. Ager Izagirre Loroño, Regional Minister of Public Administration and Institutional Relations of the Government of the Basque Country, and Mr. Luis Fornells, Chairman and CEO of Grupo Oesía, opened the two-day event.

Professionals from diverse fields, including quantum communications, finance, banking, telecommunications, defense, space, and consulting, discussed technological needs and challenges in their sectors. They proposed potential solutions using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology. The audience learned about QKD deployment worldwide, demonstrating its maturity and testing history in locations like the USA, Tokyo, South Korea, Italy, Madrid, and Barcelona.

European Quantum Summit Highlights: Foundries, PQC vs. QKD, Collaboration, and Investment

A series of round tables then fostered in-depth, thought-provoking discussions. Firstly, participants addressed Europe’s urgent need to deploy foundries across the region to fabricate chips locally and rapidly, crucial for competing with other major markets. Europe’s pursuit of the Chips Act indicates progress in the right direction. Secondly, attendees debated whether Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) would displace QKD, with many advocating for both technologies to coexist and strengthen cybersecurity systems. Thirdly, numerous speakers urged collaboration with National Security Agencies across Europe to showcase QKD’s advantages, address challenges, and integrate it into current cybersecurity systems, particularly concerning Crypto Agility. Fourthly, all entities agreed on establishing standards and certification procedures to ensure trusted services from suppliers and deploy a common, secure quantum network.

Finally, an encouraging talk in the consulting area revealed increased venture capital and corporate investments in disruptive quantum technologies, especially targeting accelerators and the startup ecosystem, which has tripled in recent years.

As Valerio Pruneri, coordinator of EuroQCI Spain, and Carlos Founand, director of R+D+I of Grupo Oesia, both agreed that,  “the conservations we had these two days were, in most cases, thought-provoking, aiming to sort defy and allow quantum tech providers to show the pioneering solutions that could help overcome the challenges that end-users are facing within Quantum communications and encourage them to adopt these technologies within their systems” From all the conversations that took place, it is clear that that the quantum threat should not be seeing as such, but more as an opportunity, because “it is driving many collaborations and synergies that can be used in many sectors”.

EuroQCI Spain

EuroQCISpain is a European initiative with the main objective of developing and deploying quantum communications technology in Spain within the framework of EuroQCI – the European Quantum Communications Network. This initiative will seek to deploy quantum secure communications across Europe in the next decade.

The consortium is composed of a diverse range of partners. In the academic realm, it includes universities and research centers such as ICFO (the Project Coordinator), UPM, and CSIC. Furthermore, it encompasses industrial entities like Cipherbit-Grupo Oesía and Indra. Additionally, telecommunications companies such as Telefonica and Cellnex are also integral members of the consortium.

EuroQCI-Spain is one of the 26 components of the European Commission’s EuroQCI, a larger quantum communications network infrastructure that will span the entire EU and enhance the security of our communications.

As Valerio Pruneri, coordinator of EuroQCI Spain, and Carlos Founand, director of R+D+I of Grupo Oesia, both agreed that,  “the conservations we had these two days were, in most cases, thought-provoking, aiming to sort defy and allow quantum tech providers to show the pioneering solutions that could help overcome the challenges that end-users are facing within Quantum communications and encourage them to adopt these technologies within their systems” From all the conversations that took place, it is clear that that the quantum threat should not be seeing as such, but more as an opportunity, because “it is driving many collaborations and synergies that can be used in many sectors”.