Up to three new research institutes will be set up in regions outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, according to a Budget announcement.
As much as $25 million has been earmarked to help set them up over the next four to five years.
The funding is spread out over three years, $5 million in 2016/17 and $10 million for each of the following two years.
"They [the centres] would be funded from a mixture of public and private sources and modelled along the lines of Nelson's Cawthron Institute, which is a specialist not-for-profit institute for aquaculture, marine biosecurity, and coastal and freshwater ecology," said Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.
The privately led institutes will focus on transferring research into "new technologies, new firms, and new products and services".
"This will in turn help to support regional development, create new jobs and lift incomes," Joyce said.
University of Auckland Professor of Physics Shaun Hendy thought the centres were "quite a good idea".
He said there was a risk, however, in fragmenting the science system, which is quite thinly distributed around New Zealand.
The $25 million is on top of the already announced $80 million increase for Callaghan Innovation's grants programme.
That funding, spread over four years, will increase the available Growth Grant funding from $102 million to $122 million annually.
Smaller Budget R&D announcements include a $1 million programme to attract big multinationals to undertake research in this country.
This will be paid for by reprioritising funding around the Science and Innovation portfolio.
As part of the Tertiary Education appropriation, Joyce earmarked $11.4 million over four years to boost the number of engineering graduates.