Quauntum technology

Quantum-proof network to be established between Danish ministries

A number of government ministries and universities are establishing a quantum-encrypted communication network to prepare Danish society for the quantum-proof communication of the future. DTU is the project coordinator.

Photo: Maja Mohr Mortensen, Erhvervsministeriet.
Kickoff of QCI.DK with visit in DTU's laboratory for quantum technology. From left: Professor Ulrik Lund Andersen, DTUPhysics, Morten Bødskov, Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs and Head of Department Jane Hvolbæk Nielsen, DTU Physics


Total budget: 6 million EUR

The project has received funding from the European Union's Digital Europe programme under Grant agreement No 101091659.

Project duration: 2.5 years, starting January 2023

QCI.DK partners: Technical University of Denmark (coordinator), University of Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University, Danish e-infrastructure Cooperation (DeIC), Sparrow Quantum, Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science

Will unite different technologies

DTU has already conducted several experiments with quantum encryption. In February 2022, Tobias Gehring helped implement the first quantum-proof data transfer in the Nordic region in collaboration with Danske Bank and based on quantum key distribution. And in November 2022, another research group at DTU demonstrated a quantum-encrypted video connection over the existing fibre network, also using QKD, in collaboration with the Niels Bohr Institute (read more on page 12).

The two demonstrations utilized different implementations of the technology, each with its own particular strengths. Part of the purpose of QCI.DK is precisely to combine different variants of QKD in one single network and optimally utilize their properties in terms of range and the rate at which encryption keys are generated.

While the connections between the ministries are relatively short, the connection from Copenhagen to Odense presents other challenges. Whereas we can amplify the signals during the transmission in our ordinary fibre optic network, this isn’t possible with quantum communication. The distance must therefore be divided into several sections and physically secure hubs—so-called ‘trusted nodes’—must be established.

Over time, these nodes will be replaced with so-called quantum repeater technology, which will provide an unbroken quantum-proof connection. But that technology is still at an early stage of development. The hope is that the QCI.DK network will be expanded to cover the whole of Denmark, for example with connections to Aalborg University and Aarhus University.

Unique collaboration

There is a strong focus on quantum encryption in the EU, and the ambition is to accelerate the development and application of the technology through the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) initiative, which aims to protect sensitive data and critical infrastructure against cyberattacks across EU member states. QCI.DK is Denmark’s contribution to EuroQCI. The project supports Denmark’s strong international position in quantum technology through a wide range of partners, which, in addition to the universities and ministries, include the Danish e-Infrastructure Cooperation (DeIC) and the quantum start-up Sparrow Quantum.

“QCI.DK is a unique project based on a strong collaboration between universities, authorities, and private businesses aimed at tackling the data security challenges of the future. Together, the parties will apply the promising quantum technologies to the creation of an infrastructure that can maintain Denmark’s leading position in quantum technology,” says Rasmus Larsen, Executive Vice President, Provost at DTU.



Quantum technology is an area of rapid growth. Researchers at DTU are focusing on three areas of technology: Quantum communication and data security; ultra sensitive quantum sensors; and the development of quantum computers. This is done through both basic research and development of technologies that can be used by businesses and government alike, which are both showing strong interest in the field.

Read more in our special topic about quantum technology.