The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) Centers of Excellence (COE) network is an extended consortium of hundreds of universities generating ground-breaking ideas for new technologies and critical knowledge, while also relying on each other's capabilities to serve the Department's many mission needs.
All COEs work closely with academia, industry, Department components and first-responders to develop customer-driven research solutions to 'on the ground' challenges as well as provide essential training to the next generation of homeland security experts. The research portfolio is a mix of basic and applied research addressing both short and long-term needs. The COE extended network is also available for rapid response efforts.
Managed through the S&T Directorate's Office of University Programs, the COEs organize leading experts and researchers to conduct multidisciplinary homeland security research and education. Each center is university-led or co-led in collaboration with partners from other institutions, agencies, national laboratories, think tanks and the private sector.
Centers of Excellence
There are currently 12 Centers of Excellence across the country.
- The Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), led by the University of Southern California, develops advanced tools to evaluate the risks, costs and consequences of terrorism.
- The National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), led by the University of Minnesota, defends the safety and security of the food system by conducting research to protect vulnerabilities in the nation's food supply chain.
- The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), led by the University of Maryland, informs decisions on how to disrupt terrorists and terrorist groups through empirically-grounded findings on the human element of the terrorist threat.
- The National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER), led by Johns Hopkins University, optimizes our nation's preparedness in the event of a high-consequence natural or man-made disaster.
- The Center of Excellence for Awareness & Location of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT), led by Northeastern University, develops new means and methods to protect the nation from explosives-related threats.
- The National Center for Border Security and Immigration (NCBSI), led by the University of Arizona in Tucson (research co-lead) and the University of Texas at El Paso (education co-lead), develops technologies, tools, and advanced methods to balance immigration and commerce with effective border security.
- The Center for Maritime, Island and Remote and Extreme Environment Security (MIREES), led by the University of Hawaii and Stevens Institute of Technology focuses on developing robust research and education programs addressing maritime domain awareness to safeguard populations and properties in geographical areas that present significant security challenges.
- The Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence (CHC), led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., performs research and develops education programs to enhance the nation's ability to safeguard populations, properties, and economies from catastrophic natural disaster.
- The National Transportation Security Center of Excellence (NTSCOE) was established in accordance with HR1, Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, in August 2007. The NTSCOE develops new technologies, tools and advanced methods to defend, protect and increase the resilience of the nation's multimodal transportation. It comprises seven institutions:
From the Homeland Security Act of 2002:
“The Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, shall designate a university-based center or several university-based centers for homeland security. The purpose of the center or these centers shall be to establish a coordinated, university-based system to enhance the nation’s homeland security.”