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Live QKD Demo at EQTC, Hannover

Published on 23 October, 2023

From October 16th to 20th, 2023, Quantum Valley Lower Saxony hosted the highly anticipated biannual event, the European Quantum Technologies Conference (EQTC), at the prestigious Hannover Fairground, drawing a distinguished assembly of professionals and experts.


Every two years, the Quantum Flagship brings together major European research and innovation networks at the European Quantum Technology Conference (EQTC). This event, being the largest of its kind, serves as a platform to celebrate breakthroughs, showcase the pioneering work of European organizations, and foster connections within the quantum community.

The EQTC encompasses all the scientific and technological pillars of the Quantum Flagship and the European ecosystem and select global advancements. It stands as the premier event for gaining insight into the European ecosystem and staying at the forefront of developments.

As a result, it provided an ideal space to present QKD’s true state of maturity, conveying to attendees and the European Commission the critical importance of quantum-securing our communications.

Throughout the conference, notable figures dedicated to Europe’s Quantum Development within the European Commission visited the demonstration to witness the multi-vendor topology in real-time. Key personnel like Gustav Kalbe, Head of Unit of Quantum Technologies, and Oscar Diez, Head of Quantum Computing and Technologies, also attended to learn more about the demo and observe an architecture resembling a “mini-EuroQCI,” signifying the advanced maturity level of QKD technology.

At the right, Oscar Díez, European Comission’s Head of Quantum Computing and Technologies, talking with Felix Wissel from Deutsche Telekom.


LuxQuanta, a member and lead company of the QUARTER consortium, participated in a multi-vendor QKD demonstration showcased at the event in Hannover. Similar to the previous one in June at the DIGITAL Assembly, the demo simulated a “mini-EuroQCI” deployment, but this time with more QKD providers.

A live video conference was continuously encrypted throughout the event and exhibition using quantum-generated keys from the QKD system.

This initiative, led by the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) for the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI), PETRUS, aimed to demonstrate the current state of technology maturity and its significance in securing Europe’s most critical data to the industry and European decision-makers. Collaborating with participants from the DIGITAL program “EU Secure Quantum Communication Infrastructure (DIGITAL-2021-QCI-01)” and a dedicated local team, the demonstration of QKD’s groundbreaking capabilities was a success.

It also highlights the necessity for collaboration among different technologies and the importance of interoperability between QKD manufacturers.


To achieve this ambitious goal, the demonstration brought together a collaborative effort of pivotal contributors in the Quantum Ecosystem.

Four QKD vendors, each utilizing distinct technologies, united their strengths to enable interoperability among systems in the demonstration. Among these providers, LuxQuanta introduced its Continuous Variable QKD System, NOVA LQ®, which is continuously improving under the QUARTER project. ThinkQuantum, QTI, and Quantum Optics Jena contributed Discrete-Variable (DV-QKD) and Entanglement-based QKD technologies.

Representants of all companies involved in the demonstration at the booth.

The quantum-generated keys were managed by the Stack SDN KMS software solution developed by the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM). This software efficiently interconnected the various technologies and delivered the keys to Rhode & Schwarz encryptors to ensure the security of the videoconference. Telsy provided the software used for the video conference.

Furthermore, companies from the PETRUS consortium actively participated in the demonstration, which included notable organizations such as Airbus, Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, AIT, and Thales. This collaboration brought together a unique assembly of industry leaders in the quantum-related sector, all dedicated to realizing the EuroQCI objective.

About EuroQCI | The EuroQCI is an European initiative that will safeguard sensitive data and critical infrastructures by integrating quantum-based systems into existing communication infrastructures, providing an additional security layer based on quantum physics. It will reinforce the protection of Europe’s governmental institutions, their data centres, hospitals, energy grids, and more, becoming one of the main pillars of the EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy for the coming decades.

The EuroQCI will make use of innovative quantum communication technologies. The initiative will thus contribute to European digital sovereignty and industrial competitiveness, and help to meet Europe’s Digital Decade target of being at the cutting edge of quantum capabilities by 2030.


The demonstration, more intricate than the one showcased at the Stockholm DIGITAL Assembly in June, incorporated two additional QKD vendors. The topology was configured with three nodes, featuring two parallel QKD links connecting node 1 and 2, as well as two more linking 2 and 3.

In this setup, the SDN KMS Stack Software from the UPM efficiently oversaw the keys from all vendors and transmitted them to the Rhode & Schwarz encryptors. These encryptors were responsible for encrypting the video conference.



This multi-vendor configuration demonstrated the practicality of interoperability among diverse QKD technologies. It provided a concrete use case for securing communications.

The various types of QKD technology, namely DV-QKD, CV-QKD, and EB-QKD, exhibit distinct characteristics and are best suited for different scenarios. Ensuring effective interoperability between these technologies and implementing a mature and efficient SDN (Software-Defined Networking) and KMS (Key Management System) for orchestrating the network architecture is essential when deploying QKD links in real networks with diverse requirements.

This is an illustrative example of the technology’s potential in EuroQCi initiative deployment and various network environments.


LuxQuanta contributed its Continuous-Variable Quantum Key Distribution System to the demonstration. NOVA LQ® stands out as one of Europe’s initial commercially available CV-QKD systems and represents the company’s pioneering system in this field.

The CV-QKD system is one of the main focus of the QUARTER project. In improvingcollaboration with the partners, the QKD technology is being improved in functionality, security, and deployment practicality. QUARTER aims to develop this and related technologies to ease the transition towards a quantum-safe Europe.

Continuous-Variable technology, a variant of QKD, allows for co-existence with classical communications in the same optical fibre, making it highly suitable for metropolitan areas. The distances covered by CV-QKD must seamlessly integrate with longer ones that will be covered by other variants. This is where the multi-vendor functionality, a key feature of our system, plays a crucial role in the success of the project.

LuxQuanta’s NOVA LQ® CV-QKD System below the servers of the UPM containing their Stack SDN KMS. 


During the Quantum Communications sessions, Dr. Sebastian Etcheverry, CTO and co-founder of LuxQuanta, presented the technology behind NOVA LQ®. He conducted an in-depth exploration of the inner workings of Continuous Variable QKD. He elucidated the foundational elements of our system’s unique value proposition while presenting our involvement in the QUARTER project and the EuroQCI initiative.

Dr. Etcheverry’s presentation captured the attention of a broad and engaged audience, and many curious attendees approached him afterward with technical inquiries.

Our commitment as consortium to disseminating high-value technical information is of utmost importance to us, serving both the industry and academia. We take pride in developing our products with a robust and cutting-edge scientific foundation.

Written by Sergi Vizcaino

Strategy & Outreach Manager at LuxQuanta