The skQCI project includes:
Deployment of national experimental quantum communication infrastructure across the country
Designing a prototype of a superconducting single photon detector and cryogenic system
Establishing a quantum technology training center for students and postdocs
The goal of the Slovak Quantum Communication Infrastructure project is to use the same hardware and technology for the implementation of various entanglement-based QKD protocols in order to populate, in this first phase, 6-12 nodes across Slovakia, thus creating the backbone of a national quantum network.
The chosen approach will not only meet the criteria of the Digital Europe program call for connecting several European cities with QKD links but will also lay the foundation for the next steps in achieving a quantum internet that goes beyond simple cryptographic tasks, providing us with the opportunity to consider other quantum communication protocols in the future.
The objective of building this infrastructure within the duration of this project will also be accompanied by the development of our own superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors and cryogenic systems which will help accommodate the needs of a growing quantum network beyond the timeline of this funded research.
Such R&D may have lesser funding opportunities in the second phase of EuroQCI or that later phase may simply be more focused on the upper layers of the quantum network infrastructure. The present project is enabling Slovakia to actively participate in the EuroQCI European mission by developing quantum communication technologies and helping to establish a training research center that will be beneficial for the whole Central-European territory, creating a sustainable knowledge-based ecosystem for future quantum engineers.