Center of excellence

A center of excellence (COE) is a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area.

The Auburn Performing Arts Center, Julie and Hal Moore Center for Excellence at Auburn High School (Alabama) is focused on performing arts.

Due to its broad usage and vague legal precedent, a "center of excellence" in one context may have completely different characteristics from another. The focus area might be a technology (e.g. Java), a business concept (e.g. BPM), a skill (e.g. negotiation) or a broad area of study (e.g. women's health). A center of excellence may also be aimed at revitalizing stalled initiatives.[1] The term may also refer to a network of institutions collaborating with each other to pursue excellence in a particular area.[2] (e.g. the Rochester Area Colleges Center for Excellence in Math and Science). In contrast, in the European defense community, the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats is a response to hybrid warfare on its periphery; the COE seeks to inform, and also protect its non-NATO components, as well as its non-PESCO members.[3]


Within an organization, a center of excellence may refer to a group of people, a department or a shared facility. It may also be known as a competency center or a capability center. Stephen Jenner and Craig Kilford, in Management of Portfolios, mention COE as a coordinating function which ensures that change initiatives are delivered consistently and well, through standard processes and competent staff.[4] In technology companies, the center of excellence concept is often associated with new software tools, technologies or associated business concepts such as Service-oriented architecture or business intelligence.[5][6]


In academic institutions, a center of excellence often refers to a team with a clear focus on a particular area of research; such a center may bring together faculty members from different disciplines and provide shared facilities.[7]


In Australia, the Australian Research Council (ARC) funds a competitive grant program for Centres of Excellence which link a number of institutions within the country and internationally in a specific field of research.[8]

Current ARC Centres of Excellence:

Past ARC Centres of Excellence include:


In the Philippines, a center of excellence (COE) is a certification given by the Commission on Higher Education to departments within a higher education institution (e.g. a college within a university) which "continuously demonstrates excellent performance in the areas of instruction, research and publication, extension and linkages and institutional qualifications". Candidates for this certification are referred as centers of development (CODs) by the education body.[9]


Certificate of the Leading Scientific School of the Russian Federation (leader N. Kuznetsov), 2018 year

In Russia, the Center of Excellence status (in Russian it is used notion Leading scientific school) is granted by the Council for Grants of the President of the Russian Federation since 1996.[10] To obtain the COE status, a group of scientists, usually based on a department at a university or a laboratory at an academic institute, and its leader should have a high scientific reputation and should submit an application, which presents a plan of scientific and educational work for the period of two years, to the Council. The Council issues a special certificate of the COE status to the leader of the group.


Walmart is designating certain employee healthcare venues as Centers of Excellence. In 2013 several regions of the country (Dallas-Fort Worth; Northern Arkansas; Orlando, FL) Walmart is offering employees free treatment when they use the designated Centers of Excellence. Treatments are administered to covered employees, who travel to the Centers, along with a caregiver, for a course of treatment at the Center. Depending on the budgetary outcome, Walmart will be sharing its operational results with other employers, as a method of controlling its healthcare costs.[11]

Ford Motor Company has announced a battery center of excellence, meant to centralize a cross-functional team to accelerate the development of battery and battery cell technology. Electrical batteries would then serve as the basis for all-electric vehicles. The Center of Excellence is called Ford Ion Park.[12]

Northrup Grumman has invested in its Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence in Melbourne, Florida. This investment uses modeling and simulation tools at the Center of Excellence which predict the performance of its test-bed aircraft, as a method for reducing risk during the process of developing the B-21.[13]

Huntington Ingalls Industries is building out an Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence, which is working on Boeing's project for the Navy’s Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle.[14]

Similarly Alliant Techsystems, Otis Elevator, Alcoa, Greatbatch, and GE have all used Centers of Excellence as organizational mechanisms to gain economies of scale, when discovering and sharing efficiencies of operation.[15]

On August 3, 2019 23 citizens of 3 countries —The United States of America, Mexico, and Germany— were gunned down in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. In solidarity with El Paso, the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence, Fort Bliss, presented a memorial memento to Walmart consisting of 23 chips each inscribed with the three national flags, as well as the flag which was flying over the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence at the moment of the mass shooting.


In the healthcare sector, the term often refers to a center that provides sufficient and easily accessible medical services to patients.[16]

In the NHS, the term is almost always used sarcastically, following its popularisation by Dr Peter Gooderham on the fora.[17] It can often be heard being used to describe tertiary centres by staff working in district general hospitals.

United States ArmyEdit

US Army NCO Leadership Center of Excellence in Fort Bliss, Texas

The Army maintains a Center of Excellence (CoE) and associated Capability Development Integration Directorate (CDID) in:

  1. Army Acquisition COE[18] - Huntsville AL
  2. Aviation COE - (its CDID),[19] - Fort Rucker AL
  3. Cyber COE - (its CDID and Battle Lab),[20][21] Fort Gordon GA
  4. Fires COE - (its CDID and Battle Lab),[22] Fort Sill OK
  5. Health Readiness COE[23] - Joint Base San Antonio TX
  6. Human Resource COE[24] - Fort Knox KY
  7. Initial Military Training COE[25] - Fort Eustis VA
  8. Intelligence COE - (its CDID),[26] Fort Huachuca AZ
  9. Maneuver COE - (its CDID and Battle Lab),[27] Fort Benning GA
  10. Maneuver Support COE - (its CDID and Battle Lab),[28] Fort Leonard Wood MO
  11. Mission Command COE[29][30] - (its CDID[31][32] and Battle Lab),[33] Fort Leavenworth KS
  12. NCO Leadership COE[34][35] - Fort Bliss TX
  13. Space and missile defense command, Joint center of excellence - Schriever Space Force Base, CO
  14. Special operations COE[36] - Fort Bragg NC
  15. Sustainment COE - (its CDID),[37] Fort Lee VA

TRADOC oversees ten of these Centers of Excellence, each focused on a separate area of expertise within the Army. These centers train over 500,000 Soldiers and service members each year.[38]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mark O. George (2010). The lean six sigma guide to doing more with less. John Wiley and Sons. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-470-53957-6.
  2. ^ Tarek M. Khalil; L. A. Lefebvre; Robert McSpadden Mason (13 August 2001). Management of technology: the key to prosperity in the third millennium : selected papers from the ninth International Conference on Management of Technology. Emerald Group Publishing. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-08-043997-6. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  3. ^ Reid Standish (Jan 18, 2018) Inside a European Center to Combat Russia’s Hybrid Warfare
  4. ^ Stephen Jenner; Craig Kilford; Office of Government Commerce (January 2011). Management of Portfolios. The Stationery Office. ISBN 978-0-11-331294-8.
  5. ^ Eric A. Marks (2008). Service-oriented architecture governance for the services driven enterprise. John Wiley & Sons. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-470-17125-7.
  6. ^ James A. Obrien (2007). Management Information Systems (Special Indian ed.). McGraw-Hill Education (India). p. 315. ISBN 978-0-07-062003-2.
  7. ^ National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Materials Science and Engineering: Forging Stronger Links to Users (2000). Materials science and engineering: forging stronger links to users. National Academies Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-309-06826-0.
  8. ^ "ARC Centres of Excellence". Australian Research Council. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development (CoS&CoDS)". Commission on Higher Education. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  10. ^ the Council for Grants of the President of the Russian Federation
  11. ^ Daily Briefing (19 Mar 2019) Walmart offers its workers free surgery (with a catch). Now it wants others to do the same.
  12. ^ Jennifer Flake (APR 27, 2021) Ford Accelerates Battery R&D with Dedicated Team, New Global Battery Center of Excellence Named Ford Ion Park
  13. ^ Northrup Grumman (April 06, 2021) Early Risk Reduction For The Bomber Of The Future
  14. ^ Paul McLeary (6 May 2021) Huntington’s Big Unmanned Plans Start To Gel
  15. ^ Jill Jusko (OCT 14TH, 2011) Centers of Excellence Help Manufacturers Stay Ahead in the Game
  16. ^ Farmer, Paul. 2001. The Major Infectious Diseases in the World -- To Treat or Not to Treat? N Engl J Med 345 (3): 209
  17. ^
  18. ^ Army Acquisition Center of Excellence
  19. ^ "Aviation CoE - (its CDID)". Archived from the original on 15 October 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  20. ^ Cyber COE - (its CDID)
  21. ^ Mark Pomerleau (25 May 2021) US Army emphasizes ‘information advantage’ "five pillars of information advantage: enable decision-making, protect friendly information, inform and educate domestic audiences, inform and influence international audiences, and conduct information warfare"
  22. ^ Fires COE - (its CDID and Battle Lab)
  23. ^ Tammy Griswold, Quality Assurance Officer, HCRoE (May 2, 2019) Rigor by Design: The HRCOE defines rigor, infuses new standards in training The U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, Health Readiness Center of Excellence
  24. ^ "Human resource center opens at Fort Knox". Louisville Business First.
  25. ^ Army Initial Military Training Center of Excellence holds change of responsibility
  26. ^ Intelligence COE - no information on its CDID
  27. ^ Maneuver COE - (its CDID and Battle Lab)
  28. ^ "Maneuver Support COE - (its CDID and Battle Lab)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  29. ^ Mission Command Center of Excellence (MCCOE)
  30. ^ Randi Stenson, Mission Command Center of Excellence Public Affairs (1 May 2018)
  31. ^ Mission Command Center Of Excellence (MC-COE CDID) Army Joint Support Team realigns under Mission Command CoE
  32. ^ "TRADOC Analysis Center. Combined Arms training center. Fort Leavenworth". Archived from the original on 2 June 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  33. ^ Mission Command Battle Lab,
  35. ^ DavidCrozier (18 Jun 2020) NCOLCOE presents El Paso Walmart with memorial 22nd NCOLCOE Commandant commemorates 3 Aug 2019 mass shooting incident in El Paso
  36. ^ U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
  37. ^ Sustainment COE
  38. ^ TRADOC home page accessdate=2019-05-26