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Stefanie Thorne

Head of Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship

Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship

Stefanie-Thorne 0

Stefanie Thorne

Head of Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship

T: 01473 338584 

Stef is Head of Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship.

Stef leads the Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship team, the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, leads our Business - HE collaborations, Knowledge Exchange, student, graduate and staff entrepreneurship.

Stef is a Fellow of the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange.

Previously Head of Research and Enterprise Services, Stef is an experienced research and knowledge exchange manager having developed two Graduate Schools and research offices within two modern Universities.

Stef is passionate about the economic impact of higher education institutions and supporting diversity in entrepreneurship. She founded the Suffolk Centre for Female Entrepreneurship (SCFE) in 2016 to act as a focal point for supporting diversity in entrepreneurship through events, knowledge exchange and research.

Previously an elected member of the Executive of the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE), the Graduate School Manager and Principal Administrative Officer for Research at the University of East London, Stef has worked with in higher education since completing her MA in International Relations and Development Studies in 2001. In 2007 she was seconded to HEFCE to act as an assistant panel secretary for RAE2008 and is currently engaging with Vitae as a researcher developer mentor for researcher developers at other Universities.

A member of a variety of different steering groups and partnership projects committed to growth and development within the region she is passionate about the development of the East of England and the importance of business and HE working together to improve people’s lives. Stef is an Enterprise Associate with the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education and regularly presents at local and regional conferences and events on enterprise and business engagement.

Stef acts as a Governor for a local primary school in Ipswich with responsibility for the Curriculum Committee and STEM.

Stef is a full time Mum of four children and devotes her time to raising them in the beautiful county of Suffolk.


Thorne, S (2018) ‘Diversity in Entrepreneurship’, UKSPA Member conference 2018, Cambridge

Thorne, S (2018) ‘Don’t Drop the Female’, Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes Festival, University of Suffolk, Ipswich

Thorne, S (2018) ‘Diversity in Leadership, Roundtable Facilitation, Institute of Directors, Workforce Inclusion and Diversity Conference, Duxford

Thorne, S (2018), Research Development vs Business Development: Oil and Water? Inorms 2018 Edinburgh

Thorne, S (2017) ‘Innovation Outreach: Widening Participation of SMEs in Research and Innovation within Norfolk and Suffolk’, University-Industry Interaction conference, UIIN, Dublin, Ireland

Thorne, S (2017) ‘Small is Beautiful – the Enterprising Campus’ MASHEIN (Management of Small Higher Education Institutions Network) Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK

Thorne, S (2014) ‘Engaging academic staff in the supervision of interdisciplinary doctoral degree programmes in the UK: Turning round the super tanker of monodisciplinarity’ Final Proceedings of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Eighth annual summit on Global Education ‘ Interdisciplinary Learning in Graduate Education and Research’ Newfoundland, Canada

Thorne, S (2014) ‘Is PRES the only way? A case study of the use of focus groups for PGR feedback’, UKCGE International Annual Conference 2014

Thorne, S (2011) ‘Graduate Schools’ BERA (British Educational Research Association) Annual Conference, 2011

Thorne, S (2010), ‘Graduate School: Portal or Gatekeeper’, Society for Research into Higher Education, Annual Conference