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) (www.simra-h2020.eu), 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

Social innovation in forests: buzzword or opportunity?

Article originally published on Medforest.

What is social innovation? Over the last decades, social innovation has gained significant popularity as a process able to tackle societal challenges and improve well-being via the direct engagement of the civil society. Hundreds of initiatives have claimed to be linked to this concept both in urban and rural contexts and in all topics and domains. Is social innovation yet another fuzzy word in a modern century of trending topics and well-designed marketing strategies? One of the aims of the H2020 SIMRA project (Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas) is also this one: to identify and map what are the key variables desirable for Social Innovation to occur, so as to identify success (and failure) cases, and develop methods for their appraisal and assessment.

During the VI Mediterranean Forest Week, which took place from 1 to 5 April in Brummana, Lebanon, hundreds of researchers, policy-makers and other relevant stakeholders from the wide Mediterranean basin gathered to discuss Mediterranean-wide forestry issues. Emerging topics included: the role of forests for achieving NDC targets for COP21, existing linkages between forests and other sectors (water, cities and biodiversity), forest communication, socio-ecological resilience of forests and many more. Social Innovation was indeed one of them, with a SIMRA-organised workshop aiming at exploring the role of the Mediterranean region as an incubating model for social innovation, presenting real cases that demonstrate elements for success and best practices for replication and learning purposes.Continue reading

SIMRA brought rural areas to the front throughout a series of conference sessions this autumn, co-led by colleagues from the James Hutton Institute

The social innovation research conducted under the Horizon 2020 project SIMRA – standing for Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas – is coordinated by the James Hutton Institute, complementary to the delivery of the ecosystem services based social innovation research for Scotland, carried out under the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme. The research on social innovation in rural areas has seen some broad media coverage in recent months with its recognition at an international level due to the organisation of sessions in several conferences.

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SIMRA’s Second General Assembly, Padova, Italy

PADOVA-EM2SIMRA partners and members of the Scientific Advisory Board gathered in Padova from 12th to 14th June 2018 for a productive annual project meeting and the second General Assembly, hosted by the University of Padova. Halfway through the project, and having already completed the first periodic reporting, the meeting was an opportunity to reflect on achievements and progress thus far, and to plan our next steps.

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Workshop: Social Innovation in rural areas in Scotland

31 May, 9.30am to 4pm
at James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH
for anyone interested in Scotland’s rural areas

In fields as diverse as community land ownership, social care, social housing provision, cultural services and environmental projects, social innovation is driving place-based rural development. In the context of the SIMRA research project, the James Hutton Institute is researching how social innovation arises, what drives its success and how it can address challenges in marginal rural areas. Come, discuss and network with a community of practitioners working on social innovation.

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SIMRA’s newsletter just published!

SIMRA’s newsletter has just been published. The partnership has been busy over the past few months working hard on a policy brief for DG Agri, training the case study teams and publishing collections of examples of social innovation. So, stay tuned to learn more about interesting social innovation initiatives all over Europe and the Mediterranean area! You can read the newsletter here (also available in French and Spanish).

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