SIMRA – a European Cooperative Research project funded by the H2020 EU Framework Programme is making its first advances in identifying key success criteria and good practice examples for social innovation in some of the most marginalised rural areas in Europe. The project was born with the aim of decoding and explaining the criteria of what makes a good idea or project successful in often under populated, isolated or challenged geographical areas. It aims to drive innovative solutions through reconfiguring social practices and implementing proven and successful civil society actions. The SIMRA project is set to run from April 2016 to March 2020 and involves 26 organisations across Europe and the Mediterranean. The project aims to understand the mechanics behind the success of trialled and tested examples of innovation that improve people’s lives, add value to the local economy, enhance the circular economy (i.e. placing sustainable production and farming techniques at the core of all actions) and, encourage people to reinforce their “roots” in marginalised areas.