Social innovation is an activity that comprises the creation of reconfigured social arrangements or networks between diverse actors, including civil society which may involve the creation of new institutions or governance arrangements in the hope that enhanced development outcomes with respect to economy, society or environment or any combination thereof might arise.

Social innovation can bring new solutions to problems in rural areas, especially in marginalised rural areas, which must re-invent their role, and their capacity to innovate. However, much remains to be done to link Social Innovations with the desired policy outcomes. It is essential to consider local conditions and various intermediate factors to use social innovations for the development of marginalised rural areas.

SIMRA will develop new patterns of cooperation, co-construction and collaborative learning through novel approaches and new shared knowledge, in order to bridge the research-policy-practice gap. It will ensure significant contributions to science, to policy making, and direct operational impacts on the ground. The research is designed to ensure that project results feed policy formation at all scales and to support effectively the community engaging in social innovation, with particular reference to Mediterranean marginalised rural areas.