Centers of Excellence
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 granted the Department the authority to create university-based Centers of Excellence. The Centers are authorized by Congress and chosen by the Department’s Science and Technology Directorate through a competitive selection process.
There are currently 8 Centers of Excellence across the country, including the Coastal Resilience Center.
- Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute (BTI) — Led by the University of Houston, BTI develops technology-based tools, techniques, and educational programs for border management, immigration, trade facilitation, and targeting and enforcement of transnational borders.
- The Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency (CAOE) — Led by Arizona State University, CAOE applies advanced analytical tools to optimize efficiency in homeland security operations.
- Center of Excellence for Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT) — Led by Northeastern University, ALERT develops new means and methods to protect the nation from explosives-related threats.
- The Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis Center (CINA) — Led by George Mason University, CINA develops strategies and solutions to enhance criminal network analysis, forensics, and investigative processes for on-the-ground use by agents and officers to predict, thwart, and prosecute crimes.
- Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI) — Led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, CIRI conducts research and education to enhance the resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure and its owners and operators.
- The Center of Excellence for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense — Led by Texas A&M University, CBTS focuses on technologies detecting biological threats moving through global supply chains, data integration and analytics to support threat detection, and novel methods to minimize risks to DHS operations.
- Maritime Awareness Security Center (MASC) – Co-Led by the University of Alaska Anchorage and Stevens Institute of Technology, MASC develops technologies, products, and programs to enhance maritime security and resilience in dynamic marine environments.
- The new National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education (NCITE) Center of Excellence — Led by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, NCITE will focus on developing solutions terrorism prevention and counterterrorism research to safeguard the nation’s people, infrastructure, and economy, including solutions that can help prevent terror attacks by countering the radicalization of people and their mobilization to violence.
- National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) — Led by the University of Southern California, CREATE develops advanced tools to evaluate the risks, costs and consequences of terrorism.
- Center for Visualization and Data Analytics (CVADA) — Co-led by Purdue University (visualization sciences – VACCINE) and Rutgers University (data sciences – CCICADA), CVADA creates the scientific basis and enduring technologies needed to analyze large quantities of information to detect security threats to the nation.
- Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI) — Led by the University of Minnesota, FPDI defends the safety and security of the food system by conducting research to protect vulnerabilities in the food supply chain. FPDI was formerly named the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD).
- Center of Excellence for Zoonotic and Animal Disease Defense (ZADD) — Co-led by Texas A&M University and Kansas State University, ZADD protects the nation’s agriculture and public health sectors against high-consequence foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic disease threats.
- Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence (CHC) — Co-led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Jackson State University, CHC performs research and develops education programs to enhance the nation’s ability to safeguard populations, properties and economies from catastrophic natural disasters.
- National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) — Led by the University of Maryland, START provides policy makers and practitioners with empirically grounded findings on the human elements of the terrorist threat and informs decisions on how to disrupt terrorists and terrorist groups.