The Government is providing funding worth £2 million for improved or new techniques to safely produce or explore for shale gas.
The cash will be invested in feasibility studies and support innovative projects in a number of key areas to help develop a UK shale gas supply chain “in a safe and sustainable manner”.
The themes the projects need to address include environmental management and reservoir monitoring.
DECC and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which are providing the funding, expect the competition to open up opportunities for UK businesses and help them attract up to 75% of public funding.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “We must explore the benefits and investment shale gas may bring but that should not come at the expense of the environment. Over the past year the scientific evidence has allowed us to conclude that shale production can be managed effectively as long as best practices are implemented and enforced.
“This £2 million funding we have announced shows our continuing commitment to remain at the forefront of new technology and techniques to efficiently and cleanly explore and produce shale gas.”