The project will accomplish the deployment of advanced QKD networks (RoNaQCI) in the form of a single, unified, national terrestrial backbone with a number of 16 QKD links, covering over 1350km (see Fig. 1 - Implementation), 6 metropolitan terrestrial networks (in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Timisoara, Craiova and Constanta – see Fig. 5) with a total sum of 19 terrestrial QKD links and 1 free-space QKD link all of them integrated and operating with existing communication networks. The project tests and integrates QC technologies at multiple levels and will also exploit RoNaQCI addressing advanced use cases blending quantum and classical communications by combining QRNG and QKD with classical communication protocols using also post quantum algorithms. More explicitly, the project will develops software for: a) monitoring of QKD networks (used firstly on RoNaQCI) including functional, performance and usage parameters; b) employing QRNG devices in signing X.509 security certificates (at UPB, UB, UBB, UTCN, UAIC, TUIasi, UPT, UVT, UCv, CMU and IFIN-HH); c) employing QKD and post-quantum algorithms in VPNtunnelled traffic (all 19 metropolitan qkd links will benefit and this will assure all the use cases involved); d) employing QKD and post-quantum algorithms in SSH traffic as well as other scenarios in distributed computing (UPB-IFIN-HH, UCv-ClusterPower and TUIasi-Imago-Mol).
The project also creates a large number of users trained in QC technologies, ready for the next generation highly secure communication and data networks, starting with the recipients of the advanced use cases above. This training will be facilitated by the establishment of the national network of quantum hubs, which will additionally train future users from academia, public authorities and industry including internet service providers. The scientific impact of the project includes: (a) pioneering the national QKD infrastructure, (b) creating a critical mass of researchers in the field of quantum communication, where the project will increase the level of competences in the field and (c) making RoNaQCI a prestigious success story through the recognition of the activities and results of the Romanian researchers, groups and institutions. Following dissemination of the project results, the measures specified in work package WP8 provide the dissemination and exploitation of the results obtained in RoNaQCI by the consortium members, by young researchers and their collaborators. The strong networking aspect strengthens the ability of the participating groups to pursue their research goals. A particular effort will be made towards young specialists, focusing on their training and encouraging their involvement. Concerning its economic and technological Impact, through its objectives, RoNaQCI provides the first implementation of the Quantum communication infrastructure in Romania. The project has deep impact, particularly for the beneficiaries mentioned in all the use-cases and considerably stimulates the dynamics of the ecosystem, securing the technological transfer between RoNaQCI and companies, thus promoting development of new innovative Quantum applications. Social Impact of the project is acquired through formal and informal education programs involved. RoNaQCI decisively contributes by strengthening knowledge and interest in Quantum communication and computing, nor only for college and pre-college students, but also for general public, citizens, authorities and companies in general. Such an outcome empowers the plan of establishing a group of highly qualified experts in Romania. The civil society will be positively influenced by the results obtained in RoNaQCI as it will have access to the new Quantum communication infrastructure designed to improve Romanian cyber security. The long term economic impact will clearly benefit society, as creating this QCI infrastructure in Romania will result in stimulating national competitiveness in the context of technological challenges, will forge new synergies and creating a national framework to promote quantum technologies, based on the joint efforts of academia, national research institutes, SMEs and other industrial entities, along with public actors and recipients and will foster new knowledge and establish a national QCI network with a large number of hubs distributed across the country. The RoNaQCI network will also be made available to the industries operating the network’s different layers in support of future large-scale deployment and connection with EuroQCI. Important beneficiaries of the results will be the participating teams and research groups, as well as industrial entities, which will all benefit from the added value and teamwork as an outcome of the collaborative action within the project.
The project will impact a wide array of actors strengthening internal competitiveness of the national community surrounding quantum communication technologies both by widening it as part of the work package on training and education as well as by developing new and expanded competences within the extremely diverse consortium providing ample opportunity for experience exchange. The project will also strengthen competitiveness of the European quantum communication technology technologies community, by expanding deployed QKD network area and contributing to the development of a supporting market in its service, by supporting EU supply chains contributing to European technological selfreliance and sovereignty, and also by enlarging the pool of resources involved in this emerging market both as potential technology developers as well as potential service providers. Finally, the project will bring benefits to the wider society owing to the infrastructure and development effort towards creating a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all digital services users are protected, to the use of open source software in alignment with the Berlin declaration on Digital Society and Value-Based Digital Government, as well as to the work related to dissemination and communication increasing public engagement regarding topics related to key strategical European interests.