Public research institutions are encouraged to engage in industry sustainable collaboration in China. We develop an analytical framework based on the factor-process-outputs model and use a mechanism model by incorporating four elements (innovation climate, strategic partnership, collaborative mechanism, and the degree of participation) associated with the research institutions and industry collaboration. Using data collected from a face-to-face interview survey of 533 experts located at research institutions in seven Chinese provinces and one municipality who have collaborated with the seed industry, we use a structural equation model to identify important factors that affect innovation behavior. Results show that the innovation climate does not directly affect the participation of research institutions in research industry collaboration; however, it has a direct effect on strategic partnership and the collaborative mechanism. We find that an innovation climate could indirectly influence the participation of research institutions via collaborative mechanism and strategic partnership. Furthermore, strategic partnership and collaborative mechanism are found to moderate the participation behavior of research institutions. Moreover, we find that policy support, knowledge innovation strategies, and resource sharing mechanisms are essential factors for sustainable and effective collaboration.
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