“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
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
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
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
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
On 29th January 2019, Marie Clotteau, Director of Euromontana, presented SIMRA to the NAT (Commission for Natural Resources) members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) during a debate on “Smart Villages: integrated strategic approaches to innovation in rural areas”.Continue reading
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.
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.
SIMRA 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.
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.