August 7, 2023
The Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut (HHI) decisively shapes two European lighthouse projects in quantum communication. Qu-Pilot and Qu-Test operate on a timeline of 42 months, lasting from April 2023 until September 2026. The aim is to support experimental production capabilities and open testing for quantum technologies. Each consortium profits from an overall budget of nearly 19 million Euros, funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program.
European industry faces challenges to translate quantum technology innovation into robust and scalable hardware processes and products. Against this background, the Qu-Test and Qu-Pilot projects span cooperative fields of high-class expertise and knowledge transfer in the EU framework.
To start with, the Qu-Pilot project aims to leverage existing piloting infrastructure across Europe to support the growing European quantum technology industry. The consortium seeks to establish pilot facilities that will be well-networked and interact with each other, providing the quantum ecosystem with a ‘one-stop-shop’ offering unique facilities and know-how. In accordance, pilot lines will be categorized into four technology platforms to cater to a broad spectrum of applications like computing, communications, and sensing. The ultimate goal is to accelerate the time-to-market of European industrial innovation in quantum technology and establish a trusted supply chain.
Highlighting the expertise of the Fraunhofer HHI, the institute takes on the role of co-leading the photonics-pilot-line. In this context, the “Photonic Components” department provides InP- and silicon nitride platforms to the partner network. Moreover, continuous research is clustered to develop a Lithium Niobate-on-Insulator (LNoI) platform and hybrid integration of other platforms.
To move further, the adjacent Qu-Test project aims to create a network of quantum technology testing and experimentation service providers across Europe. The consortium intends to upgrade, upscale, and integrate the testing and experimentation infrastructures as well as the associated processes for quantum technologies. Besides, the objective is to create an open-access distributed testing and experimentation infrastructure to make quantum technology facilities and associated services available to clients in all 27 EU countries. The target is thus to validate the relevance of the testbed service offering and the robustness of the Single-Entry-Point processes through the implementation of industrial use cases.
Achieving so, the Fraunhofer HHI owns the co-lead of the Quantum Communications Group.The group’s venture includes characterizing photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and prototyping miniaturized sources of entangled photons and quantum random number generators in InP and PolyBoard platforms.
Next to the Fraunhofer HHI, high-profile partners in the Qu-Pilot project include Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum, Commissariat A L Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas, Sonnenberg Harrison Partnerschaft mbB Patent- und Rechtsanwaltskanzlei, Amires the Business Innovation Management Institute ZU, Infineon Technologies AG, IQM Finland OY, Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech SL, Thales Alenia Space Italia, Cryohemt, Lab14 GmbH, Luxquanta Technologies SL, Quandela, Thinkquantum SRL, Diatope GmbH, Magcam.
The Qu-Test project is composed of the following prestigious partner network: Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus, Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V., AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Commissariat A L Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Istituto Nazionale Di Ricerca Metrologica, Laboratoire National de Metrologie et d'Essais, Observatoire de Paris, Institut d'Optique Theorique et Appliquee, Amires the Business Innovation Management Institute ZU, Sonnenberg Harrison Partnerschaft mbB Patent- und Rechtsanwaltskanzlei, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Quantware B.V., Silent Waves, Alice & Bob, Alea Quantum Technologies APS, Aurea Technology, Quandela, Single Quantum BV, Exail, Quantum Optics Jena GmbH, Sener Aeroespacial Sociedad Anonima - Sener Aeroespacial, Cryoconcept France.