A one-week training course will be organised in the framework of the H2020 EU-funded project Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA) (www.simra-h2020.eu) at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ-CIHEAM) on 18-22 November 2019 to address the importance of social innovation in less-favoured rural areas.
Social innovation has been heralded as a vital part of the European recovery project since the economic crisis in 2008. It is of particular importance to rural areas, especially more disadvantaged rural areas, where multiple problems of depopulation, environmental quality decline and low levels of economic activity have been recurrent. With the trend of rapid urbanisation, the remoter rural areas will continue to be adversely affected.
In these areas, the state and municipalities often struggle to maintain basic public services because of public sector austerity. Markets are weak and there is still a high dependency on primary industries. This creates space and opportunities in which civil society can take on an increasingly important role in sustaining and improving conditions. Further information on social innovation examples in rural areas is available in SIMRA’s database or the brochures of initiatives.
The course, which will focus on rural areas from Europe and non-European Mediterranean countries and that will take place on 18-22 November 2019, is part of the H2020 EU-funded project Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA) (www.simra-h2020.eu), which aims to advance understanding of social innovation and innovative governance in agriculture, forestry and rural development. The project is built on more effectively linking the practice community with the research community fostering to allow the integration and cross fertilisation of knowledge and understanding in order to boost social innovation in (marginalised) rural areas.
A preparatory meeting was held from 4-5 February at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (Spain) to design the course objectives and prepare the preliminary draft programme. The following SIMRA project representatives participated in the meeting: The James Hutton Institute (United Kingdom), University of Padova (Italy), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria), Perth College (United Kingdom), Wageningen University (The Netherlands), The Rural Development Company Limited (United Kingdom) and The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (Spain).
More detailed information will be available soon on the website of SIMRA project: http://www.simra-h2020.eu/