Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Raul Siem signed the European Union's Declaration on Cooperation framework on Quantum Communication Infrastructure, agreeing to explore how to develop and deploy a highly secure data exchange infrastructure with other EU member states.
„In the coming years, given the advancing technology and quantum computing, our digital systems and current encrypting solutions may become vulnerable . Therefore, it is important to work already today to ensure that our systems and society are protected against cyber-threats in the future as well,“ said Siem.
The aim of the declaration is to explore with other EU member states over the next 12 months, how to develop and deploy a quantum communication infrastructure (QCI) across the EU within the next ten years. This infrastructure would enable information and data to be transmitted and stored ultra-securely, and link communication assets all over the EU. It would integrate quantum technologies and systems into conventional communication infrastructures, and consist of two elements: an earth-based component making use of existing fibre communication networks linking strategic sites at national and cross-border level, and a space-based component to cover long distances across the EU and other continents.
The QCI will help Europe to secure its critical infrastructure and encryption systems against cyber threats, protecting smart energy grids, air traffic control, banks, healthcare facilities and more from hacking. It will also enable data centres to store and exchange information safely, and will preserve the long-term privacy of government data. The long-term plan is for the QCI infrastructure to become the backbone for Europe’s Quantum Internet, connecting quantum computers, simulators and sensors via quantum networks to distribute information and resources securely all over Europe.
According to minister Siem, considering the great digital dependence of both the state and private sector and the rapid development of technology, it is beneficial for Estonia to stay in the information flow of the cooperation network and participate in the development of pan-European solutions. "Estonian cyber sector companies and academic institutions have also shown interest in this, for which it may open up funding and cooperation opportunities in the future," Siem added.