(L-R) Elisabeth Margue, Minister Delegate to Luxembourg Prime Minister for Media & Connectivity; Petra de Sutter, Belgian Minister of Public Administration, Public Enterprises, Telecommunication, Postal Services; Mathieu Michel, Belgian Secretary of State; Credit: SMC

The Department of Media, Connectivity and Digital Policy (SMC) of Luxembourg's Ministry of State has reported that the Grand Duchy and Belgium strengthened their cooperation in the field of terrestrial quantum communication on Tuesday 21 May 2024.

The Minister Delegate to the Luxembourg Prime Minister for Media and Connectivity, Elisabeth Margue, and Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration, Public Enterprises, Telecommunication and the Postal Services, Petra de Sutter, together with Belgium's Secretary of State for Digitalisation, Administrative Simplification, Privacy Protection and the Buildings Administration, Mathieu Michel, and Belgium's Secretary of State for Recovery, Strategic Investments and Science Policy, Thomas Dermine, assembled in Brussels on the margins of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of the European Union. On this occasion, they signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a terrestrial cross-border quantum connection within the framework of the national initiatives LuxQCI and BeQCI, both part of the EuroQCI initiative.

"This cross-border connection will ensure future secure connectivity between our countries. The agreement is a symbol of our excellent bilateral relationship, and a recognition of the quantum expertise in our respective countries," stated Elisabeth Margue.

Petra de Sutter underlined: "We think in terms of opportunities. Quantum connectivity and technology enable data to travel from A to B faster than light and complex problems to be immediately tackled in the fields of pharmaceuticals, energy, healthcare and so on. Every advantage has a cost. Quantum technology could seriously shake up cybersecurity, precisely because it is so fast. We are joining forces with Luxembourg thanks to a cooperation and together we are securing Internet traffic by using the technology of the future. We are one step ahead of the future thanks to this cooperation."

Mathieu Michel added: "As we sign this memorandum of understanding, we mark a significant milestone in our journey towards a secure and advanced digital future. Establishing a terrestrial cross-border quantum connection between Belgium and Luxembourg enhances our technological capabilities and ensures data protection. This collaboration underscores our commitment to innovation and building robust infrastructure for the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure initiative. By joining forces, we reinforce our friendly relations and pave the way for groundbreaking advancements in quantum technology. I am confident this partnership will foster scientific and economic growth for both nations, positively impacting our digital landscape. Together, we are pushing the boundaries of possibility and leading Europe into a new era of digital sovereignty."

Thomas Dermine similarly praised this new MoU, which shows that two small countries can achieve great things together when they join forces: "This is an excellent opportunity to develop our collaboration and build efficient quantum infrastructure in Europe. This domain has a significant link to our space and cybersecurity policy. This agreement also constitutes a significant step forward for the ESA Center in Redu (ESEC) and will contribute to turning it into a cyber and quantum hub in Belgium."

As reported by SMC, this MoU marks the start of a close cooperation between the two countries in the development of this strategic future technology. Among the next steps is the planning of the technical implementation of the agreement.