SIMRA (Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas) is a four-year project (2016-2020) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. It aims to advance understanding of social innovation and innovative governance in agriculture, forestry and rural development – and how to boost them – in marginalised rural areas across Europe and around the Mediterranean, including non-EU countries.
The overall concept underpinning SIMRA is to better understand the role of social innovation in building territorial capital and enhancing sustainable development through application of a systematic theoretical and operational framework of social innovation and governance in rural areas.
Furthermore, SIMRA will be active in the social media and in other interactive digital platforms in order to promote the exchange, discussion and information sharing, with external audiences, and in particular with the different types of stakeholders in different countries. These platforms will be used to transfer methodologies and good practice of social innovation to other marginalised rural areas.
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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.
The concept of social innovation will be further elaborated upon during the first steps of the project, including during the Bratislava workshop in October. We will share with you the outcomes of these discussions.
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New brochure and poster!
Find out more about our project on the new brochure and poster (available in Arabic, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish on our website). >>>
Why SIMRA? What will SIMRA do? What are the expected impacts? Who are the partners? How to get involved?
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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 ... >>>
Our 26 passionate partners!
A diversified team of 26 partners, from all over Europe and the Mediterranean region. You can see who we are here >>>
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That chronic disease called rural depopulation - It is still night time, but the cock has already crowed. The man has been hearing it all his life –not the same one, but generation after generation of ... >>>
NEWS - Kick-off meeting
On 24, 25 and 26th May, the partners of SIMRA project met in Aberdeen for the kick-off of the four-year project “Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas” (SIMRA). This project is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme and started officially on 1st April 2016.
Scientists from across Europe and the wider Mediterranean area met at the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen (Scotland) at the end of May 2016 to mark the start of a 4-year project addressing some of the most important social challenges faced by rural areas. The Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA) project, supported with €5.5m from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, aims to understand and enhance social innovation.
Professor Maria Nijnik, SIMRA project coordinator, working at the James Hutton Institute said: “Social innovation responds to demands that are traditionally not addressed by markets or existing institutions, and that the challenge for this international team is to advance knowledge and to promote implementation of social innovation in marginalised rural areas”.
“Social innovation manifests itself in new social relationships and collaborations. It seeks to promote the development and uptake of new services and new fields of activity, such as social entrepreneurship and social enterprises that improve the quality of life of individuals and communities.”
According to Professor Nijnik, examples of social innovation are community-owned renewable energy initiatives and social enterprises which help disadvantaged groups gain access to work as well as to healthcare, and can include new institutional arrangements, while governance mechanisms based on new social networks advance social capital and can create new social innovations.
Department of Strategic Environmental Analyses at The Institute of Forest Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the James Hutton Institute is honored to organize the first SITT* SIMRA Workshop. The first SITT SIMRA workshop is considered to be an important starting point for the co-construction of knowledge with key stakeholders. To learn more about this event, please click here.
* SITT (Social Innovation Think Tank) consist of invited stakeholders actively working in the field of SIMRA project focus. They will provide critical feedback from an external perspective and, when necessary, will offer guidance, practical guidelines and recommendations.
To read more about our other upcoming events, follow this link >>>
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There are many opportunities to get involved in SIMRA:
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