Rumours had for some time been circulating that the CRIs could be in for trimming as part of National's plans to reduce government spending.
Now, scientists understandably concerned about their futures can breathe a sigh of relief. Hopefully they can now focus on developing great innovations to help New Zealand retain its delicate competitive advantage in world markets.
It has been widely quoted that New Zealand has lived on the sheep's back. Today you could argue this has changed to the cow, but in reality we must thank scientists for where we are today and where we will be.
That's not to say everything is perfect, and Mapp has made structural changes he says will improve the situation. A new Ministry of Science and Innovation offers hope, providing it overhauls the system for bidding for funding. The existing bureaucratic nightmare in which scientists wasted untold hours writing begging letters to Wellington often did not produce great outcomes.
Then there's technology transfer in which the science sector has been insular and overall a poor performer. Too many good ideas remain stranded in laboratories and in the heads of scientists, and CRIs in particular have shown reluctance to get their good work into the public domain where it can be applied.
The new Statements of Core Purpose are designed to formalise better cooperation between CRIs, improve stakeholder engagement and to improve tech transfer.
Can they make a difference? The Minister is optimistic, saying he's had some positive feedback. The cynics don't believe it will happen any time soon. Only time will tell.