SIMRA Final Conference

Highlights and key messages from SIMRA’s Final Conference

Since starting in 2016, the Horizon 2020 project “Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural” (SIMRA) has been at the forefront of promoting the contribution of social innovation to social, economic and environmental development in disadvantaged rural areas. As a transdisciplinary research project, SIMRA has managed to address numerous facets of the current global  context such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, etc. and to make its research relevant in the real world.

SIMRA organised its final conference in Brussels on 19 and 20 February 2020. This two-day event comprised a full-day policy conference and a half-day training workshop to about tools and approaches developed in the SIMRA project. During the final conference, many of the project’s main findings were presented and their implications for policy at all levels (EU, national, regional and local) were discussed, including with regards to the legislative reforms still in discussion for the next EU programming period 2021 to 2027.Continue reading

Snowshoe hiking in Nansens footstep

A long row of colourful jackets, hats and small talk is ploughing through the deep snow at Valbjørgmorka in Vågå, Norway. Some hikers have ski poles; others keep their balance by just dividing their body weight, left, right, left right. We leave a long path of yeti-look-alike footprints behind.

The great thing with snowshoes is that everyone can use them, tells guide Tesfahiwet Hailu. -In contrast to cross-country skiing, you do not need any training. In Vågå, you can borrow snowshoes at the library, take them on and get to places you otherwise cannot access during winter.

This Sunday’s snowshoe hike is the second one hosted by Hailu, a refugee from Eritrea. Both hikes are a very visible result of SIMRA’s Norwegian Innovation Action. Researchers from the Eastern Norway Research Institute use outdoor life as a bridge to inclusion and integration of immigrants.Continue reading

Rural development is analised in Zaragoza

This news was originally published in the newspaper Heraldo de Aragón on 1st December 2019

Over 35 experts from a dozen countries have met in Zaragoza to analise the fundamentals of social innovation in rural areas. They met Artieda’s example.

The development and revitalisation of rural areas in order to prevent their depopulation is, nowadays, one of the highlighted issues on the social agenda. Although this matter has to be addressed by taking into consideration political and economic factors, people who live and are committed to build their life project in these areas cannot be left aside. Continue reading

SIMRA’s final conference: registrations open!

Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas” (SIMRA) is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. SIMRA seeks to advance understanding of social innovation and innovative governance in agriculture, forestry and rural development, and how to boost them, particularly in marginalised rural areas across Europe, with a focus on the Mediterranean region (including non-EU) where there is limited evidence of outcomes and supporting conditions.

Since starting in 2016, SIMRA has been at the forefront in promoting the contribution of social innovation to social, economic and environmental development in disadvantaged rural areas. The project team has explored vibrant examples of community led projects some of which will be presented during this event to determine triggers and drivers, development patterns, factors of success and evaluation criteria for social innovation in rural areas.

SIMRA is organising its final conference in Brussels on February 19th, 2020. The event will showcase the project’s main findings and discuss their policy implications at all levels (EU, national, regional and local), and with regards to the legislative reforms still in discussion for the next EU programming period 2021-2027.

A technical workshop will be organised the next day, on February 20th, 2020 for a specialised audience. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to use the tools developed by SIMRA to support the implementation of social innovations, to evaluate social innovations in rural areas and to discuss policy-making bottlenecks and enabler sin the field of social innovation.Continue reading

Mountains for youth: the experience of SIparte in Valbelluna, northeastern Italy

By going to University to study or leaving for a year abroad to work, many young people decide to settle in areas with opportunities for professional development rather than returning to their place of birth. Out-migration of professional youth, coupled with ageing and depopulation, especially plague many mountain areas. Youth that wish to remain confront the lack of meaningful jobs, suited to their professional experience.Continue reading