Kick-Off in Jena: BMBF initiative QuNET for bug-proof quantum communication

On November 12, 2019 about 30 project participants met at the Fraunhofer IOF in Jena for the launch of QuNET. As part of the BMBF-funded initiative, the Max Planck Society, the Fraunhofer Society and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will set up a pilot network for quantum communication in Germany, which will provide secure data transmission for eavesdropping and manipulation.

In modern information societies, secure communication networks have the status of a critical infrastructure. Cyber attacks and data leaks are currently on the increase, affecting not only industry but also citizens, public institutions and federal authorities. In addition, the latest technological advances in the development of quantum computers require new ways of data transmission. These future high-performance computers will be able to break important cryptographic processes in today's digital communication and thus endanger secure data traffic.

In turn, quantum communication makes it possible to counter this threat and to transmit sensitive information in such a way that its confidentiality is maintained. Quantum states are used to distribute cryptographic keys that cannot be copied, read or even manipulated due to fundamental quantum physical laws.

Prof. Andreas Tünnermann, head of the Fraunhofer IOF, said in his opening speech: "Data security is a fundamental right and within the framework of QuNet we will try to contribute to secure communication, but also to the secure storage of data in Germany and Europe. This infrastructure will be of interest to both science and industry.

Start of the project and goals

On the occasion of the project launch of the QuNET funding initiative, representatives of all participating institutions met in Jena to discuss the next steps and adopt concrete work packages. In a first phase (QuNET-alpha), the scientists will research quantum communication technologies for hybrid communication systems and set up a quantum-secured pilot line between federal institutions.

In further project phases, the initiative aims to connect to other European quantum network initiatives. In close cooperation with German industry and the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), QuNET will implement a German quantum communication infrastructure. In this way, QuNET creates important foundations for quantum-secured communication, which in the future will offer security in the digital world not only to federal authorities but also to industry and citizens.

Source: https://www.iof.fraunhofer.de/de/presse-medien/pressemitteilungen/2019/start-qunet.html (in German)

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