In addition to developing world-class intellectual properties (IPs) and transferring them to customers, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) puts much emphasis on ensuring the quality of its research initiatives and management processes.
R&D Quality Assurance
To ensure the quality of its R&D programmes, ASTRI implemented a four-step process for its annual planning and vetting of individual projects, and continuously monitors all ongoing projects.
Every year, ASTRI conducts its Annual Planning Cycle comprising the following steps:
- Annual update in October of ASTRI’s five-year Plan
- Review of Key Technology Initiatives by Domain Advisory Committees comprising local industry and academic leaders
- Review of overall strategy and its execution by Technology Advisory Committee comprising world renowned international technology experts
- Review and approval by the Technology Committee
All R&D projects are continuously monitored by the Technology Committee to evaluate effectiveness of customer engagement. Half-yearly progress reports are submitted to the Innovation and Technology Commission to examine the project’s progress against its stated milestones. Projects are also subject to quarterly reviews by the Technology Committee of the Board and each ongoing project is monitored monthly by the Chief Technology Officer.
Management Quality Assurance
ASTRI is one of the very few R&D institutions in the world with management processes that adhere to the ISO 9001:2008 standards. The four essential objectives for ASTRI’s ISO-based management system are Transparency, Speed, User-friendliness and Governance.
To exercise effective, good corporate governance, an internal audit team reporting to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors (Board) was established in 2007 to assist the Board by providing it with information and assurance on internal management controls and observations on major control inadequacies.
As required by the Corporate Governance Manual, the Internal Audit Department carries out annual audits to meet coverage requirements specified by the Audit Committee in accordance with the determined priorities.
The Manual also requires the Internal Audit Department to review the internal control system and report the efficiency and effectiveness of such system to the Board via the Audit Committee. With respect to this requirement, semi-annual Internal Audit Progress Reports are presented to the Audit Committee.
The Board appointed the Head of Internal Audit as the Compliance Officer in April 2007 to assist its governance function by providing timely information to the Audit Committee on the compliance status of ASTRI regarding policy and procedures of project management, finance, human resources and administrative management.
To ensure continued compliance with the Guide to Information and Technology Support Programme (ITSP), corporate governance policy, ISO procedures and other relevant guidelines, the Compliance Officer is required to submit quarterly reports to the Audit Committee.