Centres of Excellence
Centres of Excellence (COEs) are international military organisations that train and educate leaders and specialists from NATO member and partner countries. They assist in doctrine development, identify lessons learned, improve interoperability and capabilities, and test and validate concepts through experimentation. They offer recognised expertise and experience that is of benefit to the Alliance, and support the transformation of NATO, while avoiding the duplication of assets, resources and capabilities already present within the Alliance.
- COEs cover a wide variety of areas such as civil-military operations, cyber defence, military medicine, energy security, naval mine warfare, defence against terrorism, cold weather operations, and counter-IED.
- Allied Command Transformation has overall responsibility for COEs and is in charge of the establishment, accreditation, preparation of candidates for approval, and periodic assessments of the centres.
- COEs are nationally or multi-nationally funded. NATO does not directly fund COEs nor are they part of the NATO Command Structure.
Role of Centres of Excellence
COEs generally specialise in one functional area and act as subject-matter experts in their field. They distribute their in-depth knowledge through training, conferences, seminars, concepts, doctrine, lessons learned and papers.
In addition to giving NATO and partner country leaders and units the opportunity to augment their education and training, COEs also help the Alliance to expand interoperability, increase capabilities, aid in the development of doctrine and standards, conduct analyses, evaluate lessons learned and experiment in order to test and verify concepts.
COEs work alongside the Alliance even though NATO does not directly fund them and they are not part of the NATO Command Structure. They are nationally or multi-nationally funded and are part of a supporting network, encouraging internal and external information exchange to the benefit of the Alliance. The overall responsibility for COE coordination and utilisation within NATO lies with Allied Command Transformation (ACT), in coordination with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).
Currently, there are 25 COEs with NATO accreditation. The working language of COEs is generally English.
NATO – accredited Centres of Excellence:
- Analysis and Simulation for Air Operations
- Civil-Military Cooperation
- Cold Weather Operations
- Combined Joint Operations from the Sea
- Command and Control
- Cooperative Cyber Defence
- Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices
- Counter Intelligence
- Crisis Management and Disaster Response
- Defence Against Terrorism
- Energy Security
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal
- Human Intelligence
- Joint Air Power
- Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence
- Military Engineering
- Military Medicine
- Military Police
- Modelling and Simulation
- Mountain Warfare
- Naval Mine Warfare
- Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters
- Security Force Assistance
- Stability Policing
- Strategic Communications