22 November 2022

Denmark’s first quantum-secured fibre-optic link established between NBI and DTU


Danish researchers at the global forefront in technology that can shield us completely from cyberattacks. On 22 November, DTU and the Niels Bohr Institute successfully demonstrated an absolutely secure connection – a video connection that cannot be hacked.

Natasha Friis Saxberg, Director of the IT Industry Association
Natasha Friis Saxberg, Director of the IT Industry Association, was at the Niels Bohr Institute during the test. At the other end of the connection at DTU was Anders Eldrup, chairman of the board of the Innovation Fund. Photo: Ola J. Joensen, NBI.

Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Niels Bohr Institute – University of Copenhagen (NBI) have demonstrated a world-news technology: an impenetrable communication system based on unique single-photon sources.

In a live test, the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen linked to DTU in Lyngby via Denmark’s first quantum-encrypted connection on the existing fibre-optic network. 

The technology was demonstrated via a quantum-encrypted video link between Anders Eldrup, Chairman of Innovation Fund Denmark, at DTU on one end, and Natasha Friis Saxberg, CEO of the Danish ICT Industry Association, at NBI on the other.

This marks the dawn of a new era in which Danish technology can prevent hostile interception of communications.

This technology holds great potential to secure critical infrastructure around the world, while also presenting tremendous opportunities for Danish businesses.

Twenty years of first-class Danish basic research

Danish researchers are at the global forefront in technology that can reduce our vulnerability to cyberattacks.

Encryption is how we protect the digital communication on which our society increasingly depends – and quantum encryption will be the foundation of tomorrow’s cyber security.

The encryption technology we use today can be cracked using a quantum computer. A different form of encryption is therefore needed, and that is where quantum encryption comes into the picture.

Quantum encryption is a proven solution that can prevent all attacks and reveal any attempt to intercept communications, says Peter Lodahl, Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute, head of the project and the Danish National Research Foundation Center of Excellence Hybrid Quantum Networks (Hy-Q).

About the project

The quantum encryption link was developed under the FIRE-Q project, with support from Innovation Fund Denmark, involving both academic and industrial partners who are now ready to commercialise the technologies.

This technology is the result of 20 years of fundamental research made possible in part by support from the Danish National Research Foundation through the centres Silicon Photonics for Optical Communication (SPOC) and Hybrid Quantum Networks (Hy-Q).

Dean Katrine Krogh Andersen, Professor Peter Lodahl, Natasha Friis Saxberg, Director of the IT Industry Association and Pro-Rector for Research, David Dreyer Lassen. Photo: Ola J. Joensen, NBI.

The FIRE-Q project also involves two Danish companies that will eventually be able to utilise the technologies commercially: Sparrow Quantum, a spin-out from the Niels Bohr Institute and SiPhotonIC, a spin-out from DTU Electro.

In a long-term perspective, the demonstration represents an important step towards a quantum internet, where quantum computers can be linked together and thus become even more powerful.

You can read DTU’s news article about the event here (in Danish).


Peter Lodahl, Professor
Email: lodahl@nbi.ku.dk
Telephone: +45 20 56 53 03

Leonardo Midolo, Associate Professor
Email: midolo@nbi.ku.dk 
Mobile: +45 23 23 41 69


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