A £16m deal for some of Wales' bigger universities will see greater co-operation between institutions.
Bangor will be working more closely with Aberystwyth
The biggest share of the money, £10.5m, will go to Bangor and Aberystwyth to create four new research centres in the arts and sciences.
But the closer ties between the two universities should not be seen as a merger, academics say.
A further £5m has been awarded to Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor to create a separate neuroscience research centre.
The money has come from the Higher Education Funding Council Wales and is in line with the Welsh Assembly Government's desire for institutions to work much more closely together.
The four new developments at Bangor and Aberystwyth are:
Centre for Catchment and Coastal Research;
Centre for Integrated Rural Environment Research;
Centre for Advanced Functional Materials and Devices Research;
Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
The Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor will look into illnesses such as strokes, dementia and brain injuries.
Nine academic chairs will be created in total.
The centres will involve groups of people from the different disciplines working together in their particular field of expertise.
Assembly Education Minister Jane Davidson also wants to see closer collaboration between the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC), University of Wales Newport and Glamorgan University.