European Quantum Communication Infrastructure - The EuroQCI initiative - Works
CEF Digital actions to co-fund the terrestrial backbone network components will be complementary to those developed through the Digital Europe Programme and will be focused on supporting cross-border links between two or more national quantum communication networks in Member States, and/or linking the EuroQCI’s terrestrial and space segments.
It is also anticipated that Member States will complement actions under CEF Digital with possible funding from the Recover and Resilience Facility (RRF).
The following priorities have been set to address the needs of EU’s national governments and critical infrastructures supporting services of general interest (hereafter “critical public infrastructures”):
- Deployment of cross-border quantum terrestrial backbone networks for interconnecting neighbouring national quantum communication infrastructures across borders, built with EU technologies, including if necessary, through the deployment of "trusted nodes" (i.e. secure access points to the network which make it possible to link distant sites securely).
- Interconnection with the EuroQCI’s space segment, developed under the Secure Connectivity programme, which will be implemented via the optical ground stations serving as an interface between the EuroQCI’s space components and its terrestrial fibre network.
- Provision of fibre links between the EuroQCI and a pan-European network of Security Operation Centres (SOCs).
This scope includes the actions needed at the level of telecommunications networks to manage encryption keys efficiently and securely in an end-to-end manner and ensure their transmission to recipients.
This topic will support the deployment of quantum communication infrastructure for routes between Member States, including overseas countries and territories:
- where the national segments of quantum communication infrastructure are already in place or where their deployment is already ongoing or operationally planned, and
- where a crossborder link between at least two EU countries, (including outermost regions and overseas countries and territories), or a space segment interconnection is foreseen.
Please consult the Call document for more information on the scope, including digital security requirements.
Expected Impact :
The call aims to:
- Enable reliable and resilient transmission of sensitive communications and data between public authorities, research entities and critical public infrastructures in Member States, including outermost regions and overseas countries and territories.
- Boost Europe’s capabilities in developing quantum-secure optical telecommunication networks and their capacity to secure its critical public infrastructures, especially those that cross national borders and serve more than one Member State.
- Promote quantum-based secure networks and the emergence of a new ecosystem that would enable a large market uptake. This will ultimately support the growth of a pan-European quantum industry that will develop new, innovative systems and technologies critical for the EU’s strategic autonomy and digital sovereignty.
- Admissibility conditions: described in section 5 of the call document
Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System
Eligible countries: described in section 6 of of the call document
Other eligibility conditions: described in section 6 of the call document
Financial and operational capacity and exclusion: described in section 7 of the call document
Evaluation and award:
- Award criteria, scoring and thresholds: described in section 9 of the call document
- Submission and evaluation processes : described section 8 of the call document and the Online Manual
- Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement: described in section 4 of the call document
6 . Legal and financial set-up of the grants: described in section 10 of the call document
Application form and annexes:
Proposals (including annexes and supporting documents) must be submitted using the forms provided inside the Submission System (NOT the documents available on the Topic page - these are only for information).