IORA has formulated the criteria for establishment of a Centre of Excellence.

The purpose of establishing the CoEs for IORA is to assist the Association to strengthen the regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region by developing and improving the capacity and minimizing the gap in any or all of the 6 priority and 2 cross-cutting areas identified by IORA Member States.  

There are various national institutes in IORA Member States who are potential Centres of Excellence. All Member States may therefore be encouraged to set up CoEs based on national capacities or the current CoEs in Member States may be elevated to regional Centres of Excellence to serve the IORA community. All CoEs are to be endorsed by the Council of Ministers for such regional status.