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EU Consortium Targets Quantum-Secured Communication

Deutsche Telekom leads Nostradamus initiative to protect critical infrastructure

John Potter

January 24, 2024

1 Min Read
An illuminated digital map of the EU
The EU Nostradamus initiative aims to protect critical infrastructure. Getty

The European Union (EU) is ramping up its quantum digital security efforts with the formation of a new consortium called Nostradamus. This initiative, part of the EU's broader investment in quantum technology, is tasked with creating a test infrastructure for quantum key distribution (QKD).

Leading the charge is Deutsche Telekom (DT), a key digitalization partner for the EU and a network provider for several EU institutions. The consortium also includes French tech multinational Thales, the Austrian Institute of Technology and experts from industry and academia.

The project's centerpiece is the development of the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI). This ambitious plan aims to bolster security for data centers, communication networks and critical infrastructure, including hospitals and power plants, through advanced fiber optics and satellite technology.

An essential goal of the Nostradamus consortium is to prepare the EU for potential quantum threats. The project aims to provide security certification services to QKD product manufacturers. QKD technology, which uses quantum mechanics principles to secure communication, is highly sensitive. Any attempts at eavesdropping on these quantum-based communications can be easily detected, making it a robust defense against hacking. 

Related:E.U. Issues Strategy to Safeguard Quantum Tech from Adversaries

“The $17.4 million Nostradamus project has just been launched by the European Commission to provide Europe, in four years’ time, with a center of excellence able to assess the security of these technologies against the most advanced attacks and threats, which only nation-states or state-sponsored actors would be able to implement,” said Thales’ head of licensed security evaluation facilities Joan Mazenc.

The EU’s significant investment in the Nostradamus project marks a critical step in enhancing cybersecurity across Europe. The Nostradamus consortium represents a unified effort to fortify the EU's digital sovereignty against new and evolving threats.

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