The National Coordinator for the EuroQCI project conducted their first working visit to the Hellas QCI Quantum Communication Network National Coordinator of Greece.

In the period May 15-17, the experts of QUASAR, who coordinate the implementation of the National Plan of Bulgaria for the construction of a quantum communication network in our country, participated in a working meeting with the representatives of the QCI coordinator of the Republic of Greece.

The meeting took place within the framework of the annual ScyLight conference, which is organized in Athens for the sixth consecutive year and is one of the leading events in the field of quantum technologies.

The event was opened by Doreen Bogdan-Martin – Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Organization (ITU) and Dimitar Kaglis – Head of the Directorate “Telecommunications and Space” at the Ministry of Digital Management of the Republic of Greece.

Among the main topics in the working groups were space quantum communication technologies, with a focus on Europe’s cyber security and communication sovereignty.

Numerous scientists from Poland, Germany, France, USA and Italy presented scientific papers presenting the latest trends and challenges of optical technologies and their role in increasing the efficiency, security and sustainability of European satellites and in protecting data in critical infrastructures. Particular attention was made to the need to attract and encourage European industry and businesses, which will have a leading role in the implementation and improvement of quantum technologies on the territory of the European Union.

The QUASAR team also had the opportunity to visit and get acquainted on site in the city of Kalavrita with the first optical ground-based telescope in Europe, built by the European Space Agency, within the framework of the SAGA project.

As part of the first demonstration phase of the implementation of the National Plans of the EU Member States for the construction of quantum communication networks, the teams of Bulgaria and Greece will bring the first long-distance optical routes to the Kulata border crossing, which is expected in year 2024 to be connected by a common interconnector connection.

The Lead Organization in the Consortium IR-BAS via CoC QUASAR (QUASAR) is the competent national body in Bulgaria in the field of quantum technologies and responsible for further deployment of the national QCI. Through its expertise in the field of quantum communications and technologies QUASAR will guarantee the successful implementation of the project in accordance with all technological requirements and priorities of EuroQCI. The team in the Centre will take active role in all activities within the project which include technical design, hardware and software implementation. It will also take responsibility for the full verification and validation in the development of the QCI networks and systems. In addition, the Centre’s experts will participate in the preparation of the training materials for the planned use cases, training of different potential users as well as the exercises, demonstrations and dissemination of the results. QUASAR is also responsible for cross border cooperation with a Greek consortium in relation to the development of the National QCI Roadmap 2024-2027.

Electron Progress EAD (EPROGRESS) is a leading Bulgarian defense industry communications and information systems (CIS) integration company. It is the successor of the former Institute of Special Electronics (ISE), founded in the late 60s of 20th century. The company is a cutting-edge provider of C4I (command, control, communications, computers for intelligence) integrated solutions for Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Transportation and Information Systems and other governmental and corporate organization’s needs. EPROGRESS has extensive experience and unique know-how in the development, design and implementation of communications and information products and systems. It has provided over the years CIS solutions based on the systems integration of ATM, ISDN, SDH, MPLS, VoIP, etc. technologies over fiber optics, wired, wireless and satellite communications media. The company has also received a patent in the field of improvised explosive devices (IED) counter measures. The company’s employs are highly skilled specialists in the area of CIS for national security and government purposes and almost all of them hold “Secret” level national security clearance and many of them have NATO “Secret” level security clearances. Currently EPROGRESS ensures the operation of the existing dedicated network in the Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria. Based on this and further having this specific clearance in the field of defence, the partner is selected to integrate the QKD layer in the existing network in the Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria.

Enterprise Communications Group (NCOM) is a leading integrator of the latest classical communication and information technologies. The vast majority of large government and business organizations in Bulgaria use NCOM technologies to organize their existing networks for voice and data transmission, to implement information systems or data centers, to build customer service centers and more. Within the scope of the project this partner will provide all the equipment and infrastructure necessary for the deployment of the planned QCI networks. Further they are responsible for the QKD layer integration (both hardware and software) within the existing terrestrial communication networks of a Bulgarian telecom operator. The experts of NCOM will take part in the practical demonstrations of the systems to potential users. They will gather data and determine the potential difficulties in relation to implementation and give recommendations for improvement of the deployment process from engineering point of view.

Correct Consulting Group (CORRCONS) is a consultant company possessing Technology Transfer Office working with public authorities and administrations, as well as with a large number of business organizations, NGO’s and the industry. The partner will organize the seminars, webinars, conferences and other training aiming to ensure the “Science Business” connection and efficient QCI deployment for the industry as well as to provide the necessary research environment. Using its experience in dissemination the partner will be responsible for the organization of demonstrations of the new QCI networks and systems to the largest number of potential users from the research industry, public authorities and other interested institutions. In addition, the partner will ensure the preparation and implementation of the Communications Strategy in implementation of the QCI plan, taking into account the main objectives and priorities of EuroQCI and the Digital Europe Programme.