The European Space Agency (ESA) and an SES-led consortium are developing a system that will allow the generation of encryption keys from space, as well as their secure transmission to users on Earth via laser.Under the agreement with ESA, the SES-led consortium of industry partners will establish a Quantum Cryptography Telecommunication System (QUARTZ), a new platform aimed at providing a global service for next-generation encryption keys for use in geographically dispersed networks. Possible applications will address the needs of users such as telecommunication operators, financial organisations, infrastructure providers, institutions and potentially governmental organisations.In the framework of the QUARTZ project, SES will define, design and develop a satellite-based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system and service architecture, which includes the future service and the core technologies up to ground end-to-end testing. Other members of the consortium will provide specific technological contributions and expertise for various elements of the system, and will include companies and research organisations from ESA member states such as Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and The Netherlands.Thanks to its reach and unlimited coverage, satellite can be a key element in achieving a reliable, globally available cybersecurity system. The QUARTZ project is an important step towards an innovative, robust, scalable and commercially viable satellite-based QKD service. It will enable the generation of encryption keys by secure laser links from satellite to users on the ground via a laser terminal for optical communication, as well as photon transmission for the quantum keys.QUARTZ is a project developed under the umbrella of ESA