This trial will see the two organisations develop new software capable of defending cognitive cities against cyberattacks from the most advanced computers to emerge in coming years.
The transformational quantum system will be built and tested at NEOM, the cognitive city – not just a ‘smart’ city that uses tech ad hoc, but a city built from the ground up, with AI woven into its fabric, that monitors the city’s use and seeks to constantly improve citizens’ lives.
Pending a successful trial in NEOM during the first half of 2022, the system could be exported to other cognitive cities around the world, offering billions of users a highly secure means to authenticate, identify and secure all forms of devices while fully guaranteeing their privacy.
Arqit Founder and Chairman, David Williams, said: “For the world to progress, people and businesses across all parts of the economy must be able to make costless, instant transfers, and seamless transactions, as well as have instantaneous access to all their information, and control who uses it and when.
“However, technology cannot be trusted until the cyber security threats of today and tomorrow are fully addressed. That’s what Arqit has achieved with our new distributed ledger technology (DLT), Quantum Blockchain, designed to deliver financial payments and smart contracts in a way that is sustainable, energy-efficient and can manage instantaneous transactions at close to zero cost.
“NEOM is without doubt leading the world in the development of cognitive communities, and therefore the perfect launch partner for this technology”
Mansoor Hanif, Executive Director of Emerging Technologies for NEOM’s Technology and Digital Company, said: “At NEOM, we strive to accelerate human progress every single day and we are excited to trial the world’s first quantum secure cognitive city system.
“While blockchain-based technologies are making rapid progress around the world, many solutions have a negative impact on the climate and are not ready for a quantum future. It is essential that NEOM’s infrastructure is both quantum safe and energy efficient.”
As a result of Arqit’s technology, processing cycles are reduced by an estimated 99% compared with alternative non-quantum safe encryption. The blockchain-based system is also extremely energy-efficient.
Arqit’s clients include British Telecom, Sumitomo Corporation, the UK Government, the US Government, Northrop Grumman and Honeywell, among others.