Twelve organizations—universities and private technology companies—will conduct research and development on emerging shale plays and technologies covering everything from digital pressure-sensing to smart microchip proppant. It is no secret that drilling fluid is crucial in drilling operations. The main function of drilling fluids is to transport drill cuttings from the bottom of the hole up to the surface. Drill cuttings then will be separated on the surface before being recycled back for further drilling. Drilling fluid is subjected to extreme pressure and temperature, and its properties such as viscosity are affected strongly by pressure and temperature.