(EurekaAlert) The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Thales have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark the start of a two-year partnership to jointly develop and test quantum technologies for commercial applications.
Under the MoU, Singapore’s Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) and Thales aim to advance quantum technologies and prepare industry players for their arrival. The partnership will see industry and academic experts from Thales and QEP develop capabilities to test and evaluate interdisciplinary quantum security technologies. They will also explore potential research collaboration opportunities in the fields of new materials and design for quantum sensing. In addition, they will organise joint activities such as seminars and conferences to share their expertise and showcase their research outcomes.
QEP is an initiative launched in 2018 by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF) and hosted at NUS. The projects under the collaboration span technologies for security and sensing, and involve QEP researchers across Singapore’s institutes of higher learning and research centres.
With its track record in developing security and cybersecurity equipments, Thales will make available its SafeNet Luna Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) and high-speed network encryptors that support interfaces to quantum devices for research use. The algorithms and quantum random number generation technology in these equipment provide the crypto-agility to easily implement quantum-safe crypto and combat the threats of quantum computing. This equipment would be deployed for proof-of-concept trials and test beds in Singapore. In May 2021, Thales launched a network encryption solution capable of protecting enterprise data from future quantum cyber-attacks. It supplements standard encryption with a scheme resistant to quantum computing that is under consideration for international standards.
he joint team of scientists and engineers will also develop devices that tap on quantum physics for higher performance. This is an area of focus under Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan (RIE2025).
Mr Ling Keok Tong, Director (Smart Nation and Digital Economy) at NRF, said, “Quantum communications and security, as well as quantum devices and instrumentation are two significant focus areas under the QEP. This MOU will enable like-minded organisations like Thales to collaborate with our public sector research performers to translate their capabilities into impactful next-generation quantum technologies for application in the industry.”