The Government has made a commitment to provide longer-term funding for Crown Research Institutes (CRIs).
It follows a Taskforce report on the CRIs, each of which is based around a productive sector of the economy or a grouping of natural resources.
Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp says work will be carried out to clarify the role and purpose of each CRI, and provide greater certainty of funding.
He says long-term strategic funding is a huge change that will produce better science.
Prime Minister John Key says a better funding system is being created for New Zealand's scientists with the changes.
Mr Key says the Government agrees with the taskforce's recommendation that a greater level of funding be allocated directly to CRIs.
He says the roles and purpose of each CRI will be clarified, and the onus will be put on CRI boards to perform and be accountable for their funding.
The Government has already announced the proposed merger of the two bodies that oversee the CRIs: the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology and the Foundation of Research, Science and Technology.
The changes are expected to be in place by July 2011.