SIMRA’s 7th newsletter in your mailboxes: a special edition on Innovation Actions!

One of the main objectives of the SIMRA project is to create collaboration and learning opportunities where local stakeholders (communities, researchers, businesses) can work together towards the implementation of social innovations, which could leave a lasting legacy in the area where they are taking place. SIMRA calls these project-supported initiatives “Innovation Actions“. Find out more about the methodology, our7 pilot Innovation Actions, and their results in this special newsletter.Continue reading

SIMRA meets in Athens for its 3rd General Assembly

SIMRA partners and members of the Scientific Advisory Board gathered in Athens from 10th to 12th June 2019 for a productive annual project meeting and the third General Assembly, hosted by the ICRE8 research centre.

With less than one year left until the end of the project, partners focused on the steps needed to finalise the tools they created. These included a set of indicators to evaluate social innovation in rural areas, the analysis of the data collected in the case studies and Innovation Actions, and the emerging policy recommendations to be included in SIMRA’s policy and practice guides.Continue reading

Social Innovation, the key to face challenges in Rural Areas

An advanced course on Social Innovation in Rural Areas will be held at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (Spain) on 18-22 November 2019.

This course is an inherent part of the EU-funded project Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA) (, which is aiming at making better use of social innovations to encourage the development of less-favoured rural areas.Continue reading

Local workshop at Raahe (Finland)

Finnish SIMRA partner University of Oulu organized a SIMRA local workshop in Raahe, Finland. The aim of the workshop was to discuss results of SIMRA interviews and focus group. Beyond the previous results, the workshop focused on alternatives for nuclear power, democracy in energy production related decision-making, and revitalization of post-industrial sites.

The workshop took place 24-25 May 2019 in Raahe library. In total there were 13 participants in the workshop. Workshop was co-organized with Noidanlukko cooperative.Continue reading

The Common Good: what did we inherit, what do we want to leave to our children?

In this second workshop with the social innovation actors, the focus was on the ‘protection’ pillar of the VALAB initiative and the question that we aimed to address was that of the ecological heritage received of the participants and their role in transmitting it to future generations.

The workshop lasted one day and was organised on 11th May 2019, in coordination with the partners of the VALAB Operational Group. Two local experts were solicited for their expertise in the ecology of the territory. The focus of the workshop was on the North of Basse-Terre (in Guadeloupe, French West Indies) as a case study area which the participants could relate to. The workshop counted four activities that aimed to highlight participants’ representations of the territorial ecosystem, of the forest ecosystem as well as of their role within, and impact on those ecosystems. The eighteen participants we split into two groups that were guided through the activities by two pairs of facilitators and the experts in ecology. They would come back into plenary to share results and thoughts generated during the activities.

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Towards a shared vision of the Integrated Ecosystemic value-enhancement of the Guadeloupean forest agrobiodiversity: Where are we now and where do we want to go?

At mid-term of the first phase of the VALAB project, this first Innovation Action workshop with the members of the SYAPROVAG and prospective actors of the forest understorey focused on the ‘production’ pillar of the VALAB vision. The objective of this workshop was to assess the current situation, share visions of the future, identify hurdles and potential pathways towards achieving those futures.

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Advanced Course on Social Innovation In Rural Areas

The course will be held at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (Spain) on 18-22 November 2019.

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.

This course is jointly organised by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ), and the EU H2020 project SIMRA (Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas) funded under grant agreement No 677622. The course will take place at IAMZ and will be given by an international team of well-qualified lecturers participating in this project, coming from international organisations, research centres, universities and the practice community.

The course will be held over a period of 1 week, from 18 to 22 November 2019, in morning and afternoon sessions and all participants will be exempt from the payment of registration fees.Continue reading