Koenraad Debackere obtained Master degrees in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (1984) and Management Science (1985) at the University of Gent as well as a Ph.D. in Management (1990) with an ICM-fellowship at the University of Gent after stays as an ICM-fellow (1988-1990) and an ICRMOT research assistant (1990) at MIT Sloan School of Management. He was a Fulbright-Hays post-doctoral fellow at MIT in 1991-1992. During 1992-1994, he was an assistant professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 1993, he obtained an NFWO-Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship. In 1995, he became professor at KU Leuven where he teaches Technology and Innovation Management. In 1999, he became the managing director of KU Leuven Research & Development, the technology transfer office of KU Leuven.
In 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2008, he has received Best Research Paper Awards from the American Academy of Management (Technology and Innovation Management Division) and the Decision Sciences Institute. In 2006 he was awarded the 3-yearly VBO-prize. In 2007, he was awarded a honorary professorship at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. In 2008, the KU Leuven R&D team received the IPTEC Award for achieving excellence in technology transfer. In 2009, he received the 5-yearly Research Publication Award from the International Association for the Management of Technology. In 2010 he was awarded a Francqui Chair in Business and Economics.
His research has focused on the area of technology and innovation management and policy, the development of indicators for measuring the linkage between science and technology, the design and use of bibliometric indicators for science policy purposes and the role of entrepreneurial universities in economic development.
He has lectured in the area of Innovation Management and Policy in various academic programs (Manchester Business School, Insead, Milano Politecnico, Tilburg University, Chalmers University).
He has been a promotor and recipient of various research grants by IWT (Flanders), FWO (Belgium & Flanders), DWTC (Belgium), EC (European Commission) and OECD in the areas of innovation management and policy. He is promoter-coordinator of the Interuniversity Centre for R&D Monitoring (ECOOM) of the Flemish government.
He is actively engaged in technology transfer activities as managing director of KU Leuven Research & Development and Chairman of the Gemma Frisius Fonds (the venture fund) of the KU Leuven. He is the co-founder and chairman of Leuven.Inc, the innovation network of Leuven high-tech entrepreneurs. Since 2001, he is a board member of IWT-Vlaanderen, the Flemish government agency that supports science and technology development in Flemish industry. Since 2005, he is the general manager of KU Leuven.