The federal government’s Sustainable Development Technology Canada, or SDTC, has announced grants for four Atlantic Canadian startups: Hampstead, N.B.’s PLAEX Building Systems, and Halifax-based ZeroIN Foods, Drinkable Water Solutions and OceanSync Data Solutions.

In a statement, SDTC did not disclose the exact amounts of the grants, but said they were each worth between $50,000 and $100,000.

SDTC described the purpose of the grants as being to fund technologies that could help combat climate change and contribute to the circular economy.

“To seize the opportunities of the Net Zero economy in Canada, we need to be supporting all stages of innovation,” said SDTC Chief Executive Leah Lawrence.

“These seed funding recipients show us the next generation of sustainable solutions global markets want and need. SDTC is proud to support these entrepreneurs throughout their journey to commercialization.”

The Atlantic Canadian companies are among 16 receiving a “seed funding envelope” worth a combined $1.6 million.

PLAEX, founded by construction industry veteran Justin Bowers, is developing modular, interlocking bricks made from about 90 percent recycled materials. The bricks lock together similarly to children’s building blocks, making them convenient for use in the construction industry.

ZeroIN, led by Dalhousie University biomedical researcher Edgar Sosa, is developing a next-generation sugar substitute that is made from carbohydrates — sugars — but cannot actually be digested by the body and therefore cannot contribute to obesity or health problems like diabetes.

Drinkable Water and CEO Matthew Mizzi have developed a device that is smaller than a smartphone and tests water for about a dozen common contaminants, such as lead, arsenic and uranium. 

And Sebastiaan Ambtman’s OceanSync mounts sensors on shipping vessels to gather real-time open ocean weather data, offering weather information that is an order of magnitude less expensive than can be obtained via the conventional methods of satellites, research ships and weather buoys.