SIMRA, strengthening innovative systems and good governance to develop the territory

  • Tourism
  • European Commission, University of Padova
  • EUItaly
  • 2016-2020

Social innovation in marginal rural areas SIMRA

The project
SIMRA’s overarching objective is to fill the significant knowledge gap in understanding and enhancing social innovation in marginalised rural areas by advancing the state-of-the-art in social innovation and connected governance mechanisms in agriculture and forestry sectors and in rural development in general.

In addition to the analysis and evaluation of already established social innovation cases, SIMRA partners are testing research results through six social Innovation Actions co-constructed with local stakeholders.

The social Innovation Action in Italy was proposed by Local Action Group (LAG) Dolomiti e Prealpi, the University of Padova and Etifor, and aims to support the socio-entrepreneurial potential of local young people in Valbelluna (Province of Belluno, in Northeastern Italy) through innovative coaching techniques.


The problem
The decreasing availability of employment opportunities for youth has dramatic negative impacts in mountain territories, first and foremost outmigration. These trends lead to the increasing impoverishment of the cultural, social and economic features in these territories.


The solution
Addressing this challenge requires policies and integrated approaches, including support for youth-led innovative entrepreneurial ideas in the cultural, social and environmental sectors, and a better environment for new startups. Sustainable agriculture (e.g. organic, short value chains), community tourism and social inclusion provide the ground for developing territorial and multi-sectoral opportunities more focused on human capabilities and relationships.

Our contribution
Etifor supports the activities of the LAG Prealpi e Dolomiti and the University of the Padova in the co-costruction of the social Innovation Action in Valbelluna. The social innovation action (IA) aims to create new local networks, develop the entrepreneurial potential of local young people (through a rural hackaton), and financially support the start-up and initial training of one selected social innovation initiative. The Innovative Action carried out by Etifor has taken the name of  SIparte |Un percorso di innovazione sociale e imprenditoria giovanile ; information related to the action, all in Italian, are published in the “Learn more” section of this page.


Social innovation in marginal rural areas SIMRA LOGHI