Businessman Protecting Paper People

The Biometrics Center of Excellence (BCOE) collaborates with partners and forms beneficial partnerships to leverage capabilities of the wider biometrics community and to expand the FBI’s biometric capabilities. The BCOE has formed important partnerships with various agencies.


Department of Defense (DoD), Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA)

BIMA leads DoD activities to program, integrate, and synchronize biometric technologies and capabilities. BIMA leads operation and maintenance of DoD’s authoritative biometric database in support of the National Security Strategy.

BIMA offers the following video entitled, “Biometrics Impacting the Warfighter and Beyond,” which is the organization’s second video in a series designed to describe the use of biometrics across DoD and showcasing the success biometrics has brought to accomplishing a diverse set of DoD missions.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

The FBI continues to support DHS and its efforts in protecting our nation by providing biometric and criminal history information to help accurately identify individuals and determine whether those individuals pose a security risk. Many efforts are underway to enhance technology, increase interoperability, and improve information sharing.

The United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program is an effective border management and immigration initiative. US-VISIT’s innovative use of biometric technology improves our nation’s border security to a level that did not exist before. These services help prevent identity fraud and deprive criminals and immigration violators the ability to cross our borders. Based on biometrics, this program has helped accurately identify people and determine whether they pose a risk to the United States.

The following video, “US-VISIT: Enhancing Security Through Better Identification,” shows how US-VISIT’s use of biometrics strengthens security.

Department of State (DoS)

The FBI continues to support DoS in its mission of promoting and defending freedom as well as securing our nation. The FBI remains committed to initiatives for expanding data sharing and enhancing fingerprint services.

National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice. The BCOE has met with the NIJ’s Sensors, Surveillance, and Biometric Technologies Center of Excellence to discuss collaboration opportunities.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the Department of Commerce that plays a vital role in the researching, development, and testing of biometric standards and technology. The FBI and NIST collaborate on many technology efforts.

NIST develops and tests biometrics (e.g., fingerprint, face, iris, and multimodal) standards and technology that promote security, interoperability, and innovation. Four projects (in collaboration with DHS and the FBI) are highlighted: Multimodal Biometric Application Resource Kit, or MBARK, biometrics usability, latent fingerprint testing, and biometric image quality. For more information go to

State and Local Law Enforcement

By championing biometric technology development, the BCOE will continue to help advance the adoption of optimal biometric and identity management solutions among local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies. All activities will be coordinated through the proper mechanisms, including the Office of Law Enforcement Coordination, the CJIS Advisory Policy Board, and various professional associations (e.g. the International Association for Identification).


The BCOE engages with academia to conduct applied research to advance biometrics in support of the FBI’s criminal investigative and counterterrorism missions. As a first step, the FBI established a cooperative agreement with West Virginia University (WVU) to facilitate the sponsorship of projects at this and other academic institutions. Initial research projects have been launched, including technical examinations of specific biometric modalities and the collection of biometric samples for future testing and evaluation. The BCOE is currently formulating both its longer-term research agenda and the processes and structure for soliciting proposals from the broader academic community. We will communicate our processes in various venues, such as this website.