International cooperation is a very important task for the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (hereafter referred as SIMM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereafter referred as CAS) to implement the strategy of internationalization. SIMM carries out the international cooperation and exchanges in accordance with the policy of "Substantive, Pragmatic, Innovative and Sustainable ". 

With the development of China's economy and the improvement of the scientific research of SIMM, international cooperation has moved from the introduction and absorption of technology to joint development and innovation, serving the process of new drug research and development reaching the international level, keeping up with international standards and participating in international competition. The mode of international cooperation has also changed from simple project transfer to joint research and development, from unilateral cooperation to joint laboratory or joint research center and from passive transfer to the establishment of our own international transfer platform. 

SIMM carries out multi-field and all-round cooperation with well-known universities, research institutions and multinational pharmaceutical companies from target discovery to new drug development and from cooperative research to technology transfer. 

SIMM has set up several joint laboratories, such as Joint Research Centre for Systems and Personalized Pharmacology with the University of Ottawa, Joint Laboratory for Drug Discovery with Griffith University and Joint Laboratory for Early Drug Metabolism with Servier. SIMM also actively participates in the formation of the international GPCR Consortium focusing on the structure-function and signaling of GPCR.

Under the guidance of the Belt and Road Initiative, SIMM expands the channels of scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation with universities and scientific research institutions in the countries along the Belt and Road. SIMM participates in the construction of Central Asian Center of Drug Discovery and Development of CAS, launched the "Pan-Balkan Alliance of Natural Products and Drug Discovery Associations" (PANDA) and "China-Russia Alliance of Natural Products and Drug Discovery" (CRAND).