The Austria‐wide cooperation of the machinery cooperatives (Maschinenringe) materialising in a cluster is a novelty for all stakeholders – for the machinery cooperatives as much as for the regional associations, the umbrella organisation and the farmers themselves. The machinery cooperative cluster set itself ambitious goals for the promotion of collaboration between the involved partners. The Austrian machinery cooperative has commissioned ÖIR to evaluate the effects of and identify potential improvements for the work of the cluster, in order to assess how and to which extent the objectives have been achieved.
To that aim, ÖIR carried out written surveys with the project managers and machinery cooperatives as well as individual interviews with the cluster advisory committees, regional directors and federal management committees of the machinery cooperatives. Their feedback on the effectiveness, implementation of the measures for the promotion of agricultural cooperation, cluster projects and support measures as well as challenges for the next funding period up to 2022 was hereby gathered. Findings were then summarised in an evaluation report.