Prof. Dr. Soete, Luc

Director Ad Interim
15/07/2019 to 31/12/2019
Research Interests 

Research and innovation policy

Measurement of science, technology and innovation

Sustainable development, economic transition and innovation studies


Ph.D., Economics, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

Licenciate., Development Studies, spec. Development Econometrics, Ghent University

Licenciate., General Economics, Ghent University

Biographical Statement 

Luc Soete was appointed Director Ad Interim from 15 July 2019 until 31 December 2019.

After having obtained his economics degree from Ghent University, he started as research assistant at the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Antwerp. Subsequently he obtained a British Council fellowship and did a doctorate in economics at the University of Sussex. He then embarked on a research career in Britain first at the Institute of Development Studies and later on at the Science Policy Research Unit both at the University of Sussex. In 1986 he was appointed professor of International Economic Relations at the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics, where he established the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), which became part of United Nations University in 2005.

He was director of UNU-MERIT from 2005 until 2012. He became Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University from September 2012 to September 2016.

Luc Soete has been Chairman of the Research, Innovation, and Science Policy Expert (RISE) High Level Group for Commissioner Carlos Moedas from 2013 till 2017 and of the Economic and Social Impact of Research (RISE) Expert Group for the European Commission from 2017 till the end of 2018. Over the last two years he was also the coordinator of the so-called “Tour d’Europe”, an initiative of the Directorate for Research and Innovation of the European Commission.

He has also been a member of the Dutch Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI) from 2004 till 2015. He has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Ghent, Liège and Sussex.

Currently Professor Soete is Honorary Professor of International Economic Relations at Maastricht University and vice-president of the supervisory board of the Technical University of Delft.

Recent publications include:

  • “Science, technology and innovation studies at a crossroad: SPRU as case study”, Research Policy, Volume 48, Issue 4, May 2019, pp. 849-857
  • with Bart Verspagen and Thomas Ziesemer, “The productivity effect of public R&D in the Netherlands”, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, published online 22 February 2019
  • From "destructive creation" to "creative destruction": Rethinking Science, Technology and innovation in a global context”, UNU-MERIT Working Paper #2019-001
  • “Is innovation always good for you? New policy challenges for research and innovation” in Handbook on Responsible Innovation: A Global Resource (Eds.) Von Schomberg, R., and Hankins, J. (Eds.), Edward Elgar, 2019, pp. 122-33.