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Project Acronym:PTQCI

Project Name: PTQCI | Portuguese Quantum Communications Infrastructure

Activity years: 2023 - 2025


Budget: 6 842 580,45€

Reference:  101091730

Host Institution: GNS (Gabinete Nacional de Segurança)

Researchers (ISEL):

Professor António Maçarico ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6213-925X
Professor António Serrador ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7554-3312
Professor Carlos Mendes ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1406-4761
Professor João Casaleiro ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4722-0954
Professor José Simão ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6564-593X
Professor Manfred Niehus (Researcher in charge/ISEL) ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0344-5115
Professor Mário Mendes ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2448-8667
Professor Miguel Fernandes ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0765-474X


Portugal being one of the member states supporting EQCI, is grouping in PTQCI its national key stakeholders (implementing entity National Security Authority, telecom service providers, industry and academia) towards the early deployment of an advanced quantum network supporting national quantum communication initiatives and their integration with existing communication networks, in what will be the Portuguese (PT) initial segment (land and space) of EQCI, plus its connection with Spain. PTQCI is supported by PT Armed Forces, Spanish EQCI, PTSPACE, Austrian partners. PTQCI is part of a roadmap for deploying national secure communication infrastructures and technology provision, and builds on previous milestones achieved, and currently in implementation by the core team on the past few years: advanced theoretical and practical experiments with quantum key distribution (QKD) and cryptographic protocols leading to successful demonstration of a quantum secure link between two PT military sites using exclusively national technology (QSCRIPT, 2021); PT leadership of a major project under EDIDP and supported by MoD and industry from Spain, Italy and Austria aiming at integrating and combining Software Defined Networks (SDN) and QKD technologies on top of legacy optical networks to build a highly secure, scalable and resilient network control architecture for advanced operational services and develop national cipher machines (DISCRETION 2021); the implementation of NATO Cyber Academy Hub in Lisbon to which the activities of DISCRETION are connected, and the participation of Portugal in the Space component of EQCI through PTSPACE. PTQCI will follow and build on DISCRETION, deploying a resilient network into the existing fibre optics infrastructures in Portugal connecting different public bodies in Lisbon metropolitan area, testing European technology on the field and providing opportunities for training in operations. It will prepare the expansion plan of the network to farther locations in Portugal (main land and islands), including the assessment of the ground to space segment infrastructures. Furthermore, it will be designed from the start with a strong engagement with Spanish EQCI counterparts, building on joint knowledge to achieve full EQCI interoperability at Iberian scale.