The Centre for Discovery and Innovation (CDI)

The Centre for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) at Cape Breton University (CBU) is a shovel-ready infrastructure project that has the power to ensure the institution’s sustainability and impact well into the future. The CDI is a modern research and instructional facility featuring cutting-edge design and clean technology. It will enable CBU to attract the brightest minds from Cape Breton Island and around the world.
The CDI will be home to state-of-the-art research and research training, facilitating industry partnerships that create local solutions for global problems. The Centre will transform Cape Breton Island through collaboration and cooperation, help stimulate the local economy, and enhance the institution’s competitive advantage in the international post-secondary education market.

The design of this new facility responds to the Architecture 2030 Challenge that all new buildings be carbon-neutral by 2030. Featuring a geothermal closed loop system and wind-powered energy, among other green technologies, the CDI will replace the existing 50+ year old science building that has reached the end of its lifecycle. With the demolition of the aging facility, oil-fired heating will be eliminated, reducing the institution’s greenhouse gas emissions. The newly built, net-zero energy building will contribute to the long-term sustainability of CBU.

The CDI will house state-of-the-art research, research training, and instructional facilities that enable students to thrive in complex and ever-changing work environments. It will help propel CBU’s long-standing, highly recognized science, engineering and technology program, and support the growth of nursing, public health and emergency management. As well, the building’s community innovation hub will provide space to engage with Indigenous rights and environmental justice, and to collaborate with local communities for the greater good of Cape Breton Island.

Since 2018, CBU’s student population has increased to approximately 5,500, with more than 60 per cent of those students coming to CBU from over 50 countries. This unprecedented growth has injected more than $163.8 million into our local economy, enriched our already diverse island culture, and led to the first population increase on Cape Breton Island in more than 20 years.
Construction of the CDI will expand the innovative learning spaces on campus, enabling CBU to remain competitive in the post-secondary education market and attract students from across the Island and around the globe.

With contemporary, innovative infrastructure, CBU will be positioned to maximize the potential of Cape Breton Island and its most valuable resource – its people. The Centre for Discovery and Innovation will drive a more prosperous, sustainable, globally-oriented future for Cape Breton Island and allow Cape Breton University to take a lead role in providing solutions to problems in Cape Breton and beyond.