First started as an RSIS-led project on NTS issues in 1999 with support from the Ford Foundation, the Consortium of NTS-Asia was established in 2007 with the aim of developing the networking and collaboration processes among scholars and analysts working on NTS issues in the region, to build long-term and sustainable regional capacity for research and analysis of NTS issues, and to mainstream and advance the field of NTS studies in Asia.
Originally consisting of 14 members, the Consortium expanded in 2009 to comprise 20 institutes and thinks tanks across Asia, with its Secretariat based at the Centre for NTS Studies at RSIS. Excluding the Centre, the Consortium's members are:
Activities conducted by the Consortium for its members include annual conventions, workshops, dissemination seminars, a yearly research fellowship programme, and publications such as books, bi-monthly newsletters and reports.
In 2009, the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies was chosen by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as the core institution to lead Cluster 3 of the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative on the research theme of Internal Challenges. The Initiative is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of international cooperation in preventing conflict and promoting peace and security in Asia.
The Centre leads a cluster of seven research institutes in spearheading research to explore solutions for the protection of people and societies that have become vulnerable as a result of insecurities due to transnational crises and conflicts.