Prof Dan Kilper, Connect

US-Ireland quantum Internet project scores €3m in funding

With rapid development of quantum computers comes need to provide connectivity between quantum computers over short and long distances
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Prof Dan Kilper, Connect

25 July 2022

A total of €3 million in funding has been allocated to the US-Ireland quantum internet foundations R&D partnership. 

The investment in the Convergent Quantum Research Alliance in Telecommunications (CoQREATE) partnership will fund at least ten research positions across four large research centres.

With the rapid development of quantum computers, there is a need to develop a quantum internet to provide connectivity between quantum computers over short and long distances. 

 

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Quantum computers have the potential to perform many computing tasks faster than classical computers, in some cases solving problems that are impossible for classical computers to solve with today’s computing power. This includes solving problems in a wide range of technologies such as higher energy density batteries and better carbon capture materials that will be valuable tools to address climate change. 

Linking quantum computers together over a quantum internet will enable distributed quantum computing with even greater computational power compared to individual quantum computers. 

A quantum internet would also enable distributed quantum applications that promise to enhance cybersecurity and achieve higher resolution sensing. As an integral part of future communications, this quantum internet will need to co-exist and interoperate with current or ‘classical’ networks that we use today – both for its own operation as well as to bring value to real world problems. 

The CoQREATE project creates a unique multi-national collaborative environment that brings together expertise across the emerging quantum technologies and classical networking technologies. It seeks to draw connections to and learn from today’s networks in order to accelerate the creation of a quantum internet.

“CQN and QTeQ are global leaders in pioneering the quantum internet and this project enables our Connect researchers in Ireland, working at the forefront of classical internet technologies, to begin to shape how the quantum and classical networks will come together,” said Prof Dan Kilper, director of the Connect SFI research centre, and professor of future communication networks at Trinity College Dublin.

“It will also accelerate the transition of quantum technologies from basic science to engineered systems. And it’s especially important for us that the project considers the broader societal dimensions of these technologies to help build an inclusive and human centred foundation for the quantum internet.”

Prof Ryan Camacho of Brigham Young University, who will lead the research programme for the NSF-ERC Center for Quantum Networks (CQN), said: “When I visited the Connect centre in Dublin earlier this year it was immediately clear that we needed to collaborate.  I’m quite impressed with their capabilities, including classical networking, photonic packaging and other technologies that will add tremendous value to our network testbeds.  These will be critical for future quantum networks, and I look forward to working with our colleagues in Ireland and Northern Ireland.”    

Dr Ciarán Seoighe, deputy director general of Science Foundation Ireland, added: “This work seeks to address key questions in the area of telecommunication systems and the integration of network technologies and applications. I look forward to learning of its progress as it brings together different research communities to help realise the potential for quantum computing and transformative advances in science, industry, economy and society.” 

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