From July 1st to July 3rd, 2024, Dublin hosted a significant three-day conference at the Camden Court Hotel, organized by the Ireland Quantum Communications Infrastructure (IrelandQCI) project. The event brought together over 150 attendees daily, including quantum technology specialists, industry experts, and academic leaders from across Europe. The conference aimed to explore the future of quantum communication technology and promote knowledge sharing within the community. It successfully gathered key stakeholders from various sectors, fostering collaboration. Discussions emphasized the importance of developing a secure quantum communication infrastructure and the need for collaborative efforts across Europe to achieve this goal.

Mr. Ossian Smyth, Minister of State for the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications of the Republic of Ireland, participated in the QCI Ireland event. He contributed to the discussions with representatives from the European Commission, the European Space Agency, and the National QCIs that attended the event, with a particular focus on HellasQCI, a partner project of IrelandQCI.

Representatives from HellasQCI, including Dr Ilias Papastamatiou (GRNET, HellasQCI), Prof. George Kanellos (NKUA, HellasQCI), and Dr Homer Papadopoulos (NCSRD, HellasQCI), participated in the event. Their participation aimed to share insights from the HellasQCI project, discuss best practices, and collaborate with other national and international quantum communication initiatives.

The first day concerned the Petrus meeting, exclusive to NationalQCIs and Petrus partners and provided updates on the EuroQCI roadmap, and a discussion on the Eagle One project.

Various workshops followed, focusing on architecture design, use cases, network operations, and sustainability of the NatiQCIs among the others while Dr Ilias Papastamatiou presented GRNET’s plan for the upcoming CEF call, emphasizing HellasQCI’s strategic goals and future plans.

During the second day key stakeholder meetings were held, followed by presentations from the European Commission and the European Space Agency.

Prof. George Kanellos presented on HellasQCI’s progress, sharing valuable insights into  the projects’ quantum communication infrastructure development. Dr Ilias Papastamatiou moderated a panel discussion on international deployments and quantum networks use-cases on PQC, HPC, Standards and Military between 4 National QCIs: Greece’s HellasQCI (H. Papadopoulos), Austria’s QCI-CAT (S. Ramacher), Portugal’s PTQCI (C. Bastos) and Poland’s Pionier-Q (P. Rydlichowski).Dr Homer Papadopoulos contributed by discussing the integration of post-quantum cryptography (PQC) with QKD.

During the third day, vendor workshops included presentations by leading industry representatives. These sessions focused on QKD systems and developments. Dr Homer Papadopoulos highlighted the integration of PQC with QKD within the HellasQCI project framework. The event concluded with networking and feedback sessions, fostering further collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The three-day conference also featured important contributions from other projects cooperating with HellasQCI, including Petrus CSA project, the Malta QCI and IrelandQCI among the others. The IrelandQCI event highlighted the necessity for continued innovation, funding, and policy support to advance quantum communication technologies and secure Europe’s digital future. The active participation of HellasQCI members (Dr Ilias Papastamatiou GRNET, coordinator of HellasQCI, Prof George Kanellos the Technical coordinator of the project, and Dr Homer Papadopoulos) highlighted the key role of HellasQCI in the European quantum communication community. HellasQCI benefited greatly from the exchange of ideas, networking opportunities, and the establishment of new collaborative ventures.