Qrypt, an innovator in quantum-secure encryption, has recently announced its selection for an STTR Phase 1 contract by AFWERX. This significant move is aimed at integrating Qrypt’s cutting-edge quantum-secure encryption solution into the Department of Air Force (DAF) to tackle its most urgent challenges.
AFWERX, in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, has been transforming the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) processes. Their goal is to expedite the experience for small businesses, from proposal submission to contract award, and to expand opportunities for these entities. Since the introduction of the Open Topic SBIR/SSTR program by the DAF in 2018, there has been a notable expansion in the range of funded innovations. Qrypt’s journey in this direction commenced on December 12, 2023, aiming to enhance U.S. national defense capabilities with innovative solutions.
Qrypt’s solution is particularly notable for its approach to quantum-secure encryption, which effectively eliminates key transmission and combats the looming threat of "harvest now, decrypt later" (HNDL) attacks. The company’s Quantum Key Generation (QKG) technology allows for the independent generation of encryption keys at various endpoints, eradicating the vulnerabilities associated with key transmission and directly countering quantum threats. This innovation is critical for the DAF, which relies heavily on encrypted communications and data for its mission-critical operations.
Denis Mandich, Qrypt's Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder, emphasized the urgency and importance of this development. “As the quantum era quickly approaches, so does the quantum threat. Qrypt remains at the forefront of cybersecurity innovation, addressing the imminent threat of quantum computing, and is committed to safeguarding our national security,” he stated. “This award is just the first step in advancing quantum-secure encryption to protect critical communications and sectors from advanced attacks.”
Additionally, Qrypt has formed a partnership with the National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to evaluate the application of its quantum-resistant encryption solutions in DAF-specific scenarios. UTSA is a prominent partner in the US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) Academic Engagement Network.
Charles Cosnowski, Research Lead at the NSCC, highlighted the significance of this collaboration. “Quantum security education and research are essential to our national security,” he remarked. “Through this collaboration and contract, we can work with Qrypt to strengthen national defense capabilities and advance quantum-resistant cryptography.”
This contract marks a pivotal step in enhancing the security of the Department of Air Force’s operations against emerging quantum computing threats, positioning Qrypt at the forefront of this critical field in cybersecurity.