Contribution to long-term policy objectives, policies and strategies — synergies
In a remarkable synergy with the Romanian National Strategy for the Development of Capabilities in Quantum Communications - QTSTRAT and with Establishment of the National Reference Centre in Quantum Communications – QUANTEC (the two national projects related to Quantum Communications that are currently in development), RoNaQCI will both contribute to and also benefit from these two projects. RoNaQCI consortium includes most partners from QTSTRAT and QUANTEC and their leaders, assuring the integration with other similar projects and deployment at national level. The project objectives, activities and work plan are firmly grounded in multiple converging needs analyses developed in national, European and international forums.
The proposed network topology is based on the results of international QCI projects such as SECOQC, TokyoQKD and the Chinese QKD projects, as collectively summarized by Mehic et al. in ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) 53.5 (2020) pp. 1-41, adapted to the Romanian setting based on partner experience with large-scale national and EU network infrastructure projects and a plethora of technical and market analysis studies as described in the implementation plan, taking into account projects within the Quantum Flagship Programme (CiViQ, OPENQKD, QUAPITAL, QuPIC) and other QCI initiatives of proximal EU states. For example, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) currently coordinates EuroQCI’s pilot project - the Open European Quantum Key Distribution Testbed “OpenQKD”. The Czech Republic has been running its “National Quantum Initiative'' (CZIni) since 2016, including QKD and QC. Poland has launched in 2019 the national project and initiative “National Laboratory for Photonics and Quantum Technologies” (NLPQT), as a Poland’s critical research infrastructure. Moreover, GÉANT, CESNET (Czech NREN) and PSNC (Polish NREN) have already conducted QKD technology testing in their environments within GN4-3 project.
Similarly, the planned software development targets are based on needs assessments provided by ETSI, such as ISBN No. 979-10-92620-03-0. The three main challenges that the project aims to address are: (1) deployment of advanced national quantum systems and networks, (2) development of a compatible ETSI-compliant software solution stack, integrated with existing networks to combine the finest of quantum and classical security, and (3) training of a large number of users for quantum communication (QC) technology at national level.
The objectives O1 - O5 set out above are highly relevant both to the call objectives and to accomplish the longterm strategic objectives outlined above. These objectives can be achieved in during the project lifetime, as proven by the extremely diverse and comprehensive consortium capacity, as resulting out of the work plan PERT chart. In addition, all objectives are measurable and time-bound, as resulting from the proposed monitoring and evaluation strategy centred around the deliverables. KPI: RoNaQCI will cover over 1500km of QKD networks (16 NOCs national and 20 NOCs metropolitan), 5 cities connected to the national (long-distance) QKD network, 6 metropolitan OKD networks (related to 6 regions covering Romania) that link 10 universities, 2 national agencies, 4 research institutes and 6 relevant stakeholders. RoNaQCI is the base for 16 use cases related to relevant domains as education, research, medical, financial, special communications, data centre activities and public administration (including 5 public authorities: Romanian Education Ministry, RNA, Craiova City Hall, Regional Dolj Council, St. Spiridon Hospital).
The project will establish a network of 15 quantum hubs, nationally spread, that will provide training for academia, for public authorities, for industry and ISPs covering by the end of the project a large number of trained users. All 15 hubs will offer test beds for industry and other stakeholders. The infrastructure of RoNaQCI is ready to embrace the cross border links with at least 4 Romanian neighbours, from Arad and Timisoara towards Hungary and Serbia, from Bucharest to Bulgaria and from Iasi to Moldova. The consortium, led by UPB and also numbering all Romanian key partners in the field of free space communications, ROSA, ISS and INFLPR, plan to analyse ground to satellite QKD possibilities and to provide a good strategy for Romania, so that RoNaQCI will be ready for the new challenges in this area. The consortium covers a wide range of high-end educational & research institutions (12 universities and 7 research institutes), 3 national agencies, 3 companies and relevant stakeholders representing the QCI user groups. Thus, the project has all the premises to contribute decisively to the mentioned strategies and policies at national and EU level and to ensure synergy across their development.