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Center of excellence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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 (such as Java), a business concept (such as BPM), a skill (such as negotiation) or a broad area of study (such as women's health). A center of excellence may also be formed to revitalize 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).


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 as a capability center, or as an excellence 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.[3] 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.[4][5]


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.[6]

South America and Asia[edit]

The governments of Guyana and India jointly formed the Centre for Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) at the University of Guyana in 2019.[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] New centres are funded every three years and each run for seven years.[8]




  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers of Big Data, Big Models, New Insights
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis




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.[11]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, schools and sixth forms specialising in an area of curriculum are known as specialist schools. These schools are recognised as centres of excellence in their specialist subject areas.[12][13] Schools that attained Beacon status were also recognised as centres of excellence,[14] however this status has been discontinued.[15]

Business and technology[edit]

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 CoEs. 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.[16]

Ford Motor Company opened its Ford Ion Park 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.[17]

Northrop Grumman has invested in a manned aircraft design center of excellence in Melbourne, Florida. It 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.[18] In 2013, it designated five centres for excellence in the U.S.[19]

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.[20]

Asda's merchandising centre of excellence in Leeds contains "a full-size model store for mocking up different shelf layouts and a state-of-the-art virtual reality lab, where Asda and its suppliers can test store layouts and construction plans".[21]

Unum opened its IT centre of excellence in Carlow, Republic of Ireland in 2008,[22] expanding it in 2020[23] promoting business technology in the U.S.[24] and abroad[25][26]

IBM Consulting launched its center of excellence for transformative generative AI in 2023.[27]

Alliant Techsystems, Otis Elevator, Alcoa, Greatbatch, and GE have each used centers of excellence as organizational mechanisms to gain economies of scale, when discovering and sharing efficiencies of operation.[28]


In the healthcare sector, the term often refers to a center that provides sufficient and easily accessible medical services to patients.[29]

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the United States, in 2023, allocated $24 million to create 10 maternal health research centers of excellence.[30]

In the British NHS, the term is almost always used sarcastically, following its popularisation by Dr Peter Gooderham on the Doctors.net.uk fora.[31] It can often be heard being used to describe tertiary centres by staff working in district general hospitals.




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.[32] The US Department of Defense (DoD) intends to use CoEs that focus on key technologies, such as drones, and commercial satellite imagery.[33]

United States Army[edit]

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

The Army maintains numerous Centers of Excellence (CoE) at major universities,[34] training installations, and other locations:

  1. Acquisition COE[35] - Huntsville, Alabama
  2. Aviation COE[36] - Fort Novosel, Alabama
  3. Cyber COE[37] - Fort Eisenhower, Georgia
  4. Fires COE[38] - Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  5. Human Resource COE[39] - Fort Knox, Kentucky
  6. Initial Military Training COE[40] - Fort Eustis, Virginia
  7. Intelligence COE[41] - Fort Huachuca, Arizona
  8. Maneuver COE[42] - Fort Moore, Georgia
  9. Maneuver Support COE[43] Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  10. Medical COE[44] - Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), Texas
  11. Mission Command COE[43] - Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
  12. NCO Leadership COE[45] - Fort Bliss, Texas
  13. Space and Missile Defense CoE[46] - Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado
  14. Special Operations COE[47] - Fort Liberty, North Carolina
  15. Sustainment COE[48] - Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia

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.[49]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Stephen Jenner; Craig Kilford; Office of Government Commerce (January 2011). Management of Portfolios. The Stationery Office. ISBN 978-0-11-331294-8.
  4. ^ Eric A. Marks (2008). Service-oriented architecture governance for the services driven enterprise. John Wiley & Sons. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-470-17125-7.
  5. ^ James A. Obrien (2007). Management Information Systems (Special Indian ed.). McGraw-Hill Education (India). p. 315. ISBN 978-0-07-062003-2.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Centre for Excellence in IT formally launched Staybroeck News; 21 June 2019. Accessed 8 November 2023
  8. ^ a b "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.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ the Council for Grants of the President of the Russian Federation
  11. ^ Abramovich S., Kuznetsov N., Razov A. (2021). "G.A. Leonov: eminent scholar, admired teacher and unconventional administrator". Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 1864 (1) (Journal of Physics: Conference Series ed.): 012066. Bibcode:2021JPhCS1864a2066A. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1864/1/012066. S2CID 235289395.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "LA pilot on the new procedures for the redesignation of specialist schools: Evaluation report spring 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Malcolm, Dominic (27 March 2008). The SAGE Dictionary of Sports Studies. SAGE. p. 403. ISBN 978-1-4739-0291-6.
  14. ^ Potts, Patricia (8 December 2003). Modernising Education in Britain and China: Comparative Perspectives on Excellence and Social Inclusion. Routledge. p. 242. ISBN 978-1-134-42893-9.
  15. ^ Smith, Emma, "What Happened to the Beacon Schools? Policy Reform and Educational Equity", Oxford Review of Education 41.3 (2015): 367-86. Web.
  16. ^ Daily Briefing (19 Mar 2019) Walmart offers its workers free surgery (with a catch). Now it wants others to do the same.
  17. ^ Jennifer Flake (APR 27, 2021) Ford Accelerates Battery R&D with Dedicated Team, New Global Battery Center of Excellence Named Ford Ion Park
  18. ^ Northrop Grumman (April 06, 2021) Early Risk Reduction For The Bomber Of The Future
  19. ^ Northrop Grumman designates five centers of excellence in consolidation effort Military Embedded Systems Magazine; 7 March 2013. Accessed 8 November 2023
  20. ^ Paul McLeary (6 May 2021) Huntington's Big Unmanned Plans Start To Gel
  21. ^ Asda, New Asda centre of excellence opens in Leeds, accessed 11 February 2023
  22. ^ Finance is (finally) embracing IT Fortune Magazine; 14 September 2022. Accessed 8 November 2023
  23. ^ U.S. Insurance Company Unum Expands Technology Centre in Carlow Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; 18 November 2020. Accessed 8 November 2023
  24. ^ Unum Group architect charts a DevOps course to a hybrid cloud future ZDNet; 10 September 2013. Accessed 8 November 2023
  25. ^ UNUM bucks the trend with private, eco-friendly, data centre Digitalisation World; 2013. Accessed 8 November 2023
  26. ^ Unum Finance Chief Stresses Importance of Advocating for Digital Transformation The Wall Street Journal; 19 April 2022. Accessed 8 November 2023
  27. ^ IBM Consulting introduces Center of Excellence for generative AI to empower business transformation Venture Beat; May 26, 2023. Accessed 8 November 2023
  28. ^ Jill Jusko (OCT 14TH, 2011) Centers of Excellence Help Manufacturers Stay Ahead in the Game
  29. ^ Farmer, Paul. 2001. The Major Infectious Diseases in the World -- To Treat or Not to Treat? N Engl J Med 345 (3): 209
  30. ^ NIH Awards $24 Million To Create 10 Maternal Health Research Centers Forbes Magazine; 18 August 2023. Accessed 8 November 2023
  31. ^ Coales, U.; Marks, R.; Pringle, A. (2011). "Peter Gooderham". BMJ. 342: d2079. doi:10.1136/bmj.d2079. S2CID 220110404.
  32. ^ Reid Standish (Jan 18, 2018) Inside a European Center to Combat Russia's Hybrid Warfare
  33. ^ Jaspreet Gill ( DoD 'hedge strategy' could bring 'element of surprise' to future conflict: Brown
  34. ^ Centers of Excellence Facts FAA Accessed 8 November 2023
  35. ^ "Acquisition CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  36. ^ "Aviation CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  37. ^ "Cyber CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  38. ^ "Fires CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  39. ^ "Human Resources CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  40. ^ "Initial Military Training CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  41. ^ "Intelligence CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  42. ^ "Maneuver CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  43. ^ a b "Maneuver CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  44. ^ "Medical CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  45. ^ "NCO Leadership CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  46. ^ "Space and Missile Defense CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  47. ^ "Special Operations CoE". Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  48. ^ "Sustainment CoE". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  49. ^ TRADOC home page accessdate=2019-05-26