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HellasQCI project, coordinated by GRNET, supported and participated in the 6th annual ESA ScyLight Conference for Optical and Quantum Technologies, which was successfully held on 15-16 May 2023 at the Eugenides Foundation in Athens, followed by a workshop on Quantum Internet held on 17 May in Kalavrita, Greece.
This year’s ScyLight Conference was co-organised and hosted by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Greek Ministry of Digital Governance and the General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Post. The conference was supported by the HellasQCI project which builds the National Quantum Communication Infrastructure of Greece, the City of Kalavryta and the National Observatory of Athens (NOA).
During the event, more than 190 European, American and Canadian industry experts, researchers, academics and end-users attended to share their expertise, discuss and plan the future of optical and quantum communication technologies.

The Conference began with welcoming remarks addressed by: Dr. Athanassios Staveris, Secretary General of Telecommunications & Posts,
Dr. Francisco–Javier Benedicto Ruiz, ESA Director of Navigation, Dr. Ηarald Hauschildt, ESA Program Manager for the ARTES ScyLight Program, Dr. Spyros Vasilakos, Director of IAASARS and Vice President of NOA and Dr. Dimitrios Kagklis, Head of Directorate of Wireless Communications, 5G Networks and Space of the General Secretariat of Telecommunications & Post.

Dr. Ilias Papastamatiou, Senior Project Manager at GRNET and coordinator of the HellasQCI project, gave an overview of the EuroQCI initiative and the HellasQCI project and moderated the first panel of the conference which consisted of key players from the public and private sectors (GRNET – Dr. Ilias Papastamatiou, NOA – Dr. Haris Kontoes, Motor Oil Group – Mr. Panagiotis Georgiou and Lasting Software – Mr. Daniel Zirmer) as early adopters of the new emerging technologies in quantum and optical communications.

Dr. Papastamatiou, during his introductory remarks welcomed on behalf of the HellasQCI consortium and GRNET, the ScyLight Conference and appreciated ESA, the Ministry of Digital Governance and the General Secretariat of Telecommunication and Posts for hosting this year’s conference in Greece. The panel discussions were productive and identified important challenges for early adopters of quantum and optical communications. However, the added value of these technologies outweighs the challenges:the advantages in cybersecurity, protecting critical infrastructure, enhancing scientific capabilities and safeguarding sensitive data are key reasons for the public and private sectors to move into the quantum era.

During the first two days of the conference in Athens, several HellasQCI partners gave talks followed by Q&A sessions: Dr. Manolis Xilouris (IAASARS / NOA), Dr. Giannis Giannoulis (ICCS / NTUA) and Dr. Deirdre Kilbane (WIT / SETU).

The third day of the conference was held in Kalavrita. The Mayor of the city Athanasios I. Papadopoulos and the Director and President of NOA Dr. Manolis Plionis opened the Workshop on the Quantum Internet. Dr. Georgios Kanellos, Assistant Professor of the University of Athens and Technical Coordinator of HellasQCI, gave a keynote speech on the path towards quantum communication at National and European level.

Over the three days of ScyLight Conference, exceptional speakers with expertise in Quantum and Optical Communications, from the public and private sectors, offered and exchanged their knowledge, shaping the future of Quantum Communication Infrastructures in Europe, in the spectrum of EuroQCI, as well as globally.

Moreover, HellasQCI partners from the National Quantum Communication Infrastructures of Ireland (IrelandQCI), Cyprus (CYQCI) and Bulgaria (BGQCI), attended the conference contributing with exchanging expertise and valuable technical knowledge amongst the four National Quantum Communication Infrastructures (NatQCIs), bringing robust and interoperable Quantum Networks and Technologies contributing to a successful EuroQCI.
HellasQCI also provided a dedicated branded booth at the conference, hosting specialists from the project’s consortium (GRNET, NCSR Demokritos and Qubitech). HellasQCI through its participation at the conference started the establishment of the HellasQCI Community which will consist of national stakeholders on quantum and optical technologies.

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