In October 2011, Prof. Wu Ji, the Director General of the National Space Science Center, CAS, visited the International Space Science Institute (ISSI). He proposed to establish the International Space Science Institute - Beijing during his visit.
In February 2012, Simon Aegeter, Chairman of the ISSI Board of Trustees and Roger-Maurice Bonnet, ISSI former Executive Director, visited NSSC for further discussion. Both parties exchanged opinions and signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was approved by the ISSI Board of Trustees in June 2012.
On 10 April 2013, the BoT of ISSI signed the Agreement of Cooperation with NSSC and approved the implementation plan of cooperation between ISSI and ISSI-BJ. It was decided, for the first time in the history of ISSI, to share the name with another institution. According to this decision, ISSI and NSSC moved forward on the implementation plan for establishment of ISSI-BJ.
The inauguration ceremony of ISSI-BJ was held at the NSSC in Beijing on 16 July 2013. Prof. Rafael Rodrigo, Executive Director of the International Space Science Institute, and Prof. Wu Ji, Chairman of the BoT of ISSI-BJ and Director General of NSSC, jointly inaugurated the new institute located on the 3rd floor of the NSSC building. In 2013, the ISSI-BJ Board of Trustees elected Professor Maurizio Falanga from Switzerland to head the Institute as its Executive Director.
A brainstorm forum on the strategy of ISSI-BJ was held in November 2014, when an international visiting assessment committee was established to evaluated the performance of ISSI-BJ. The international visiting assessment reports gave ISSI-BJ a very good credit and concluded that ISSI-BJ had a good start and had been gaining excellent reputations from the international science communities. Based on the evaluations, NSSC and ISSI agreed to continue their cooperation on ISSI-BJ. The Board of Trustees of ISSI-BJ and ISSI approved an assessment report and the new agreement in April and June 2015 respectively.
Therefore, on 23 October 2015, Prof. Wu and Professor Rosine Lallement, representative and vice chair of the Board of Trustees of International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland, signed a new agreement, which confirmed the cooperation of the two sides on the continuation of ISSI-BJ. Following this 3-year agreement, both sides decided to extend the cooperation, which is still ongoing.
On 11 June 2019, Prof. George Meylan (ISSI, Switzerland), Prof. Wu Ji (ISSI-BJ, China), and Prof. Maurizio Falanga (ISSI-BJ, China), met at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland, to sign the agreement renewal between ISSI and the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NSSC, CAS). The agreement sanctioned the beginning of a new three-year chapter of collaboration between NSSC and ISSI to mutually support and promote the activities organized at ISSI-BJ and foster an international environment of knowledge sharing and fruitful cooperation in space science.