Professor Luc Soete (1950: Brussels) obtained an economics degree from Ghent University and a PhD in economics from the University of Sussex. He then embarked on a research career in Britain and the United States, producing new economic insights on the Schumpeterian dynamics of innovation. In 1986 he was appointed professor of International Economic Relations at the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics. Two years later he established the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), which quickly grew into a leading research institute in the economic analysis of technological development and innovation, and became part of United Nations University (UNU) in 2005. He was appointed dean of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) in 2010.
Professor Soete is also a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Dutch Advisory Council for Science and Technology Policy (AWT).
As of 1 September 2012, he succeeded Professor Gerard Mols as the Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University (UM).