In this paper, we elaborate on how academic R&D can be managed as a business, Based on the case of K.U. Leuven Research and Development, it is shown how an academic institution can develop the context, structure and processes conducive to managing academic R&D as a business. It is argued that universities that intend to take advantage of the economic opportunities of their R&D programmes, should leverage their innovation potential through appropriate strategies, organizational structures and management processes that allow them to manage part of their R&D portfolio as a business without hampering though the fundamental academic values and activities of research and teaching. This balancing act has been the responsibility of K.U. Leuven Research and Development for the last 28 years. It is the subject of the case study reported in this paper.