The processing power of quantum computing will challenge the security of today’s encryption technologies. This has serious implications for many industries which rely on ultra-secure data transmission, including design and manufacturing projects where this can be a matter of national security. Quantum key distribution (QKD) has been identified as one of the solutions to maintaining this security, using principles from quantum mechanics to keep data encrypted and reliably detect eavesdropping attempts. But its suitability for real-world manufacturing applications has been largely untested – until now.

Built in partnership with BT and Toshiba Europe, the UK’s first industrial quantum-secure network is now jointly hosted by our NCC and the Centre for Modelling and Statistics. This is also the first time that the technology has been demonstrated using ‘off the shelf’ components, marking a key success in the shift to future-proofed smart factories. Created as part of the West of England Combined Authority’s Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation (DETI) programme, this global success is set to bring real opportunities to the West of England in the longer-term.

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