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Weekly Roundup - Rainy Season Benefits, Lightweight AI Model and New Business Audit Law

Yulia Fedorova

26 Apr 2024

The Panama Canal is witnessing improvements with the onset of the rainy season, which may help alleviate shipping delays during the peak season. Recent efforts have seen an increase in daily vessel crossings, though still below pre-drought averages. The canal authority is set to increase transit bookings and lift cargo weight restrictions, anticipating a boost from Panama's shift to a wetter climate that should help replenish Gatun Lake, crucial for the canal's operation and a recovery from last year's disruptions. This positive change is expected to ease global trade restrictions, highlighted by Maersk's OC1 container-line service planning to resume canal operations. However, a complete return to normal canal operations may not be realized until the end of the year or later, indicating a gradual recovery process.

Microsoft launched Phi-3-mini, a cost-effective and lightweight AI model, as part of its strategy to offer affordable AI solutions and expand its customer base. The model, which is significantly cheaper than similar models, marks the first in a series of three small language models aimed at impacting various sectors and enhancing work processes. Available immediately on Microsoft's Azure, Hugging Face, Ollama, and optimized for Nvidia's GPUs, Phi-3-mini embodies Microsoft's commitment to accessible AI, highlighted by strategic investments and partnerships, including a $1.5 billion investment in G42 and collaboration with Mistral AI.

The European Parliament has now approved the “Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive,” which will apply to both EU companies and to non-EU companies doing business in the European Union. There is a phased implementation of this law, depending upon the size of the company involved, but any company doing more than 450 million euros of business in the EU will be subject to its provisions within five years, and the law will also apply to any companies with franchising or licensing agreements in the EU that generate more than 80 million euros in turnover in the EU and earn at least 22.5 million euros in royalties within the EU. The requirements imposed by this law are significant, including the adoption of a climate transition plan in accordance with the Paris Agreement (limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius) as well as achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, with certain limited exceptions, companies will be compelled to minimize and remediate adverse environmental impacts at each point in their supply chain - both upstream and downstream activities.

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"Modeling a supply chain for carbon capture and offshore storage—A German–Norwegian case study" by Anders Bennaes, Martin Skogset, Tormod Svorkdal, Kjetil Fagerholt, Lisa Herlicka, Frank Meisel, Wilfried Rickels (2024)

"An uncertain sustainable supply chain network design for regulating greenhouse gas emission and supply chain cost" by Amit Kumar, Kaushal Kumar (2024)

Dublin Tech Summit

When: 29. - 30. May 2024

Where: Dublin, Ireland

What: Dublin Tech Summit brings together global leaders in innovation, technology and business to shape the future of global trends and technologies.

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When: 04. - 06. June 2024

Where: London, UK

What: Infosecurity Europe brings together the industry’s leading cybersecurity professionals to share their experiences and support others in overcoming network security challenges. The event is an opportunity to connect with experts and suppliers alike to find solutions that meet your needs. Our 2023 event saw industry peers grow stronger and more resilient together. Time to boost your cyber threat intelligence at Infosecurity Europe.

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When: 04. - 06. June 2024

Where: Stuttgart, Germany

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Weekly Roundup