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Welcome to the Centers of Excellence

The DHS S&T Centers of Excellence (COEs) develop multidisciplinary, customer-driven, homeland security science and technology solutions and help train the next generation of homeland security experts.

Providing Practical Homeland Security Solutions

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Engineers in a lab

The Office of University Programs (OUP) makes it easy to access academia to conduct basic and applied research. COEs are university-led research and education assets that provide rigorous, objective research to help anticipate and combat challenges facing the Homeland Security Enterprise. The COEs develop countermeasures, mitigation, and prevention approaches and technologies relevant to DHS missions. The COEs are designed to (a) work with and complement DHS research and development programs, including federal laboratories’ homeland security research; (b) take advantage of other related federally-sponsored research; and (c) provide outcomes useful to federal, state, and local governments, private sector, and international partners. The COEs leverage extensive public and private networks, provide individualized services to DHS Components, assist with finding needed research and development (R&D) capabilities, and promote technology transfer, transition, and commercialization. COE partners include academic institutions; industry; national laboratories; DHS operational Components; S&T divisions; other federal agencies; state, local, tribal and territorial homeland security agencies; and first responders.

Active Centers of Excellence

  • Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC)

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    Coast Guard ship docked in the Arctic Region of the US

    Led by University of Alaska

  • Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency (CAOE)

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    Chart with examples of data

    Led by Arizona State University

  • Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS)

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    Shipping trucks driving the a truck weigh station

    Led by Texas A&M University

  • Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis Center (CINA)

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    Researcher holder gel mold tray under flourescent light

    Led by George Mason University

  • Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)

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    Building under construction with crane on the side

    Led by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Coastal Resilience Center (CRC)

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    Marsh with the sun setting the horizon

    Led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Masters of Business Administration - Security Technology Transition (MBA STT)

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    Data and Binary code projected on holograph screen

    Led by George Washington University

  • Maritime Security Center (MSC)

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    Emergency response personel flying in helicopter

    Led by Stevens Institute of Technology

  • National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE)

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    Corner of police car siren with faint image of officers in the background

    Led by University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Soft-Target Engineering to Neutralize the Threat Reality (SENTRY)

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    Car on fire with smoking rising from the burning vehicle

    Led by Northeastern University

  • Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT)

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    Firefighters on the scene of an accident

    Led by Northeastern University

  • Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute (BTI)

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    Cargo ship at a port carrying shipping containers

    Led by University of Houston

  • Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA)

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    Projection of data depicted in bar charts and line graphs

    Led by Rutgers University

  • Center of Excellence for Zoonotic and Animal Disease Defense (CEEZAD)

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    Researcher holding a test tube with gloves on

    Led by Kansas State University

  • Coastal Hazards Center (CHC)

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    City along the coast with body of water on the side

    Led by Jackson State University & University of North Carolina

  • Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Threats and Emergencies (CREATE)

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    iPad with data charts and an individual using a stylus on the device

    Led by University of Southern California

  • Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI)

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    Field with crops and sunset in the horizon

    Led by University of Minnesota

  • Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD)

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    Scientist growing biological culture on a petri dish with test tubes in the backgroung

    Led by Texas A&M University

  • National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

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    Emergency responders surveying a scene with gas masks on

    Led by University of Maryland

  • Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments (VACCINE)

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    Images of various data charts and graphs depicted on a screen

    Led by Purdue University

OUP stresses technology/knowledge transfer, transition, and commercialization, all of which have led to the development of more than 200 targeted tools, technologies, and knowledge products. COE successes include:

Long Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

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Researchers deploy a Long Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle in the arctic

The Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) filed a Provisional Patent for its solution to enable the U.S. Coast Guard to detect and characterize oil spills in remote, cold regions. The technology will also enable responders to provide real-time situational awareness and decision support for disaster response and humanitarian assistance. Learn more.

Portable Bacterial and Viral Pathogen Detection 

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Researcher demos Portable Bacterial and Viral Pathogen Detection device

The Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS) center has partnered with two biotechnology companies to create the Host Response Test System (HRTS), a pathogen-detection technology that quickly differentiates between bacterial and viral infections. Halfway through its development, this biosurveillance technology is positioned to help the federal government and healthcare and public health entities with current and future health-related security challenges. Find out more

Passive Acoustic Sensing and Border Security

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Researcher deploy  Passive Acoustic Sensing technology into the water

Drug smugglers use ultralight and crewless aircraft to traffic drugs and other illicit contraband across remote U.S. water and land borders. The Maritime Security Center (MSC) patented passive acoustic sensor system can detect, track, and classify low-flying aircraft in areas not covered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar systems. In July 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents seized 145 pounds of methamphetamine dropped by aircraft near the US-Mexico border; MSC’s system could be used to assist CBP in future operations. Download report.  

Last Updated: 04/21/2022
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