First Quantum Communication with Italy and Slovenia

© Ruđer Bošković Institute

August 6, 2021 – What the country lacks in terms of economy, it makes up for in science. This was proven at Croatia’s G20 summit. Together with their counterparts from Slovenia and Italy, Croatian scientists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) conducted the first quantum communication, showcasing new secure communication technology.

Unfortunately for the Croatian economy, the country is far from being a member of G20, not to mention the prestigious G7, but with the European Union as a member of the G20, it’s a bit as if Croatia were also part of the team.

Croatian businesses may still face problems, but Croatian science is saving the nation’s reputation, especially the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB). As they reported in their press release, Croatia participated in the first public demonstration of quantum communication, along with Italy and Slovenia on August 5. This transmission took place between Trieste, Ljubljana and the Croatian city of Rijeka, and thanks to their scientific expertise, attention was drawn to Croatia during the summit of the richest countries on the planet.

Dr Mario Stipčević (Head of IRB Photonics and Quantum Optics Laboratory) and IRB Dr Martin Lončarić handled the transmission on the Croatian side with the support of his colleagues from the Faculty of Transport and Science of traffic from the University of Zagreb and in collaboration with the OIV company which is enlisted in digital signals and networks.

The quantum connection between Trieste (Italy) and the Croatian Rijeka-Zagreb node is 100.5 kilometers long and stretches from Rijeka to the capital of Zagreb via induced quantum communication. The first such demonstration was made possible through the cooperation of the Croatian academic community and industry, ” said Dr Stipčević.

According to the website of PicoQuant, a German company dedicated to product research and development, quantum communication is an area of ​​applied quantum physics closely related to quantum information processing and quantum teleportation.

“ Its most interesting application is the protection of information channels from eavesdropping by means of quantum cryptography, ” says PicoQuant.

The IRB explains that quantum communication addresses the need for secure communication, which is a priority for every government around the world.

“This technology achieves maximum security thanks to quantum encryption that works on the exchange of photons, which allows the instant detection of hacking attempts,” they said from the IRB.

“Today we are part of the cornerstone of the new European quantum infrastructure”, said Tommaso Calarco, the president of the European Quantum Community Network (QCN). He added that this was the crown of the first phase of the flagship Quantum program which provides citizens of the European Union with such a privacy protection infrastructure.

Croatia, obviously involved in the development of The European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) Initiative, shows that the country will not fail behind its other European partners.

“With the success of this demonstration, our scientists and experts have broken the ice and paved the way for the realization of quantum infrastructure in the Republic of Croatia,” concluded Dr Stipčević.

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated website TC page.

To learn more about science in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

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