Applied Cryptography & Quantum Algorithms

Practicable algorithms for quantum optimisation

The quantum computing age is upon us. And it brings a variety of challenges and vast opportunities with it. In addition to focusing on these, TNO’s Applied Cryptography & Quantum Algorithms (ACQuA) expertise group also exploits new cryptographic technologies to create privacy-friendly and quantum-safe applications that change the way we interact, share and protect in the digital world.

Applying our expertise

ACQuA is a unique expertise group made up of mathematicians, computer scientists and physicists. This enables us to approach challenges from multiple perspectives and develop more effective solutions.

ACQuA creates state-of-the-art software, algorithms and strategies for today, and for the quantum age of the near future. Our expertise and independent market position make us an ideal partner for development.

We work with public and private organisations and academia to apply our knowledge and build working solutions. We also address the organisational, legal and ethical challenges our developed technology brings to allow for direct application of our solutions.

Utilising data optimally

ACQuA develops solutions that will drive society forward. In the era of GDPR and growing concerns about data privacy, ACQuA works with advanced cryptographic techniques to develop Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), like secure multi-party computation (e.g. homomorphic encryption and differential privacy), which enables privacy-friendly analyses that lead to various beneficial applications.

For example, to optimise and personalise healthcare or to advance techniques that prevent fraud and money laundering or battle poverty. We also support new European legislation on electronic identities through Self-Sovereign Identity.

Harnessing the quantum power

Quantum computers use quantum mechanical effects to efficiently solve specific problems that are intractable for conventional computers. And while current quantum computers are still limited in their capabilities, worldwide efforts are leading to rapid progress.

In parallel, we must work on software and algorithms that will allow us to utilise the full potential of available quantum hardware for rapid data processing, optimisation and artificial intelligence applications. These can benefit a variety of sectors, from automotive to finance to pharma.

ACQuA works on creating state-of-the-art software for practical applications on already-available quantum hardware and that of the near future. With and for companies, we develop generic toolsets for optimisation challenges, machine learning and cybersecurity.

Enabling a quantum-safe society

But quantum computers also pose a major threat to currently used cryptography. In the wrong hands, the same technology that can advance society can also be used to invade it. The only way to defend against the threat is to begin today, while quantum computers are still in their infancy. ACQuA works directly with partners to prepare for the quantum age. That includes the development of Post-Quantum Cryptography that can secure our digital communication channels and data.

The urgency to migrate to quantum-safe technologies is steadily growing, but implementing quantum-safe cryptography is complex and time-consuming, with implications for existing IT protocols. ACQuA aims to ease this migration. For example, in HAPKIDO, ACQuA is working with partners to develop roadmaps for quantum-safe Public Key Infrastructures.

ACQuA also works on computer-aided cryptography, developing methods to generate machine-checkable security proofs for the design and implementation of cryptographic primitives. All to enable a smooth and safe transition to a quantum-safe society.

Partnering for quantum optimisation

ACQuA partners with organisations including QuTech, Quantum Delta NL, Quantum Application Lab and PlanQK. We are also active in national and international knowledge programmes and with private companies. Our connection to leading universities – via active relationships with PhD students and two endowed professors on our team – keeps us close to state-of-the-art scientific developments.

Want to uncover all the ways TNO can help ensure a safe, secure and quantum-empowered society? Get in touch today.

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