Raman Research Institute (RRI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the research and development (R&D) unit of the Indian Navy to develop quantum technology-powered maritime communication systems.

Under the five-year MoU, the Quantum Information and Computing (QuIC) lab at the RRI will be in charge of leading the research efforts to create quantum key distribution methods for the Indian Navy.

The MoU was signed with Indian Navy’s Weapons and Electronics Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE) last week.

RRI director Tarun Souradeep said: “I am absolutely delighted that Indian Science and Technology ecosystem has been opening borders in recent years, that enable talented and world-class researchers in the academic research institutions to contribute to the growth of Science and Technology capabilities in strategic areas of national importance.

“Porosity of the perceived boundary between fundamental and applied sciences as well as Science and Technology, will bode well in the coming decades.”

QuIC lab group head Urbasi Sinha said: “We are excited with the collaboration and believe that with our expertise in the domain of secure quantum communications, we will be able to help foster cutting-edge research towards identification of potential maritime use-cases for the Indian Navy.”

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Among QuIC’s notable accomplishments are the creation of the “qkdSim” end-to-end simulation toolset, safety in communication platforms, secure communication between two buildings, and, more recently, secure communication between a stationary source and a mobile receiver.

In addition, QuIC Lab is the first lab in India to propose and put into practice a variety of applications utilising single and entangled photons.

These applications particularly focus on developing secure communications in crucial fields, such as banking, defence, and cyber security.