Aicadium, a global technology company founded by Temasek dedicated to creating and scaling AI solutions, and SambaNova, the company building the industry’s most advanced software, hardware, and services to run AI applications, has joined in partnership to bring SambaNova’s advanced AI hardware to Singapore. In conjunction with Aicadium’s AI platform, the solution is available for companies in Singapore seeking to deploy machine learning applications such as natural language processing, computer vision, recommendation, and more.
“Partnering with Aicadium to deliver advanced AI solutions to enterprises and organisations in Singapore pushes SambaNova closer to our goal of enabling global access to AI,” said Marshall Choy, Vice President Product for SambaNova. “Businesses around the world are under pressure to adopt and accelerate AI initiatives. With Aicadium’s expertise and our best-in-class AI computation, we are accelerating machine learning and AI adoption throughout the region together.”
SambaNova’s Dataflow-as-a-Service utilising DataScale is a completely integrated software and hardware platform delivering unrivaled performance, accuracy, scale, and ease of use built on SambaNova’s Reconfigurable Dataflow Architecture™ (RDA). SambaNova DataScale software-defined-hardware approach is optimised from algorithms to silicon, delivers efficiency, and is built with a highly flexible and scalable architecture. DataScale can scale seamlessly from one to hundreds of systems to meet the demands of modern AI computing.
“This exciting partnership with SambaNova exemplifies the collective strength and capabilities of the Temasek ecosystem, connecting firms within our portfolio and beyond to deliver better business outcomes,” said Dr. Michael Zeller, Head of AI Strategy & Solutions at Temasek, and Board member of Aicadium.
The partnership enables end-users in industry, government, and higher education to benefit from complete AI solutions to solve their most urgent problems by utilising extensible AI platform services, locally hosted in Singapore and available throughout the ASEAN region and beyond.
Source: Aicadium via PR Newswire
Leading global trade publication, Captive Review has recently shortlisted Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) as ‘International Domicile’ for the European Captive Review Awards 2021. Labuan IBFC is the only jurisdiction from Asia to be shortlisted in this category, alongside other leading global domiciles; cementing Labuan IBFC’s growing recognition in Europe.
The European Captive Review Awards is a unique set of awards dedicated to captive insurance and risk management expertise, giving domiciles, service providers, captive owners and other industry stakeholders a platform to showcase the highest levels of excellence and innovation.
Farah Jaafar, CEO of Labuan IBFC Inc., said, “Our recognition in Europe is definitely growing, and this nomination is a great testament to that fact. Over the last few years, we have had significant interest and captive establishments from European entities, some of which have a presence in Asia. Our sound regulatory framework, proportionality in prudential requirements and our midshore offering and reputation makes for an ideal “home” for captive insurance vehicles.”
Farah added that Labuan IBFC is Asia and MENA’s fastest-growing risk and reinsurance wholesale intermediation market, boasting more than 220 license holders, and makes for not only a wide but deep marketplace for captives to thrive. Labuan IBFC is also the only jurisdiction in Asia that provides for the protected cell company (PCC) structure, with more than 10 PCCs licensed to date.
2020 was a boon year for Labuan captive business with 8 new captives formed, totalling 55 captives now licensed by the jurisdiction. This was the highest number of captives formed in both Asia and MENA in 2020. This growth has continued unabated, and in the first half of 2021, 8 new captives have already been approved.
Labuan IBFC’s captive insurance business continued its upward trajectory in 2020, with total gross premium increasing by 8.7% to USD497.5 million, out of which 65.4%of the premiums are from international markets. Labuan’s captive insurance business accounts for 31.2% of the total premiums underwritten in the jurisdiction.
It is worth noting that Labuan IBFC has won the Best Asian Domicile for three years running at the Asian Captive Review Awards. The jurisdiction was also recognised as Captive Insurance Jurisdiction of the Year at the China Offshore Awards in 2018 and 2019; as well as shortlisted for the non-EU jurisdiction category in the European & UK Captive Review Awards 2018.
Captives are self-insurance vehicles which are strategic risk management tools utilised by many corporations around the world. To date, there are approximately 7000 captive insurance companies set up globally in order to enjoy this benefit.
The European Captive Review Awards 2021 will be held in Luxembourg on 8 November. The ‘International Domicile’ category is awarded to the jurisdiction that demonstrates the highest standards of regulation, accessibility, efficiency and commitment in promoting the captive insurance business in the region.
For more information on Labuan IBFC, please refer to www.labuanibfc.com.
Source: Labuan IBFC via PR Newswire
Porsche and Michelin are championing the sustainable extraction of natural rubber by committing to provide transparency and better working conditions in the extraction of raw materials as demonstrated by the CASCADE (Committed Actions for Smallholders Capacity Development) project.
The long-term partners are supporting Sumatran small plantation farmers in the extraction of rubber through education and training on cultivation practices, biodiversity and work safety with the aim of achieving long-term improvements in the living conditions and economic situations of Indonesian smallholders.
(Photo Courtesy: Porsche)
Indonesia is one of the world’s most important rubber production regions. Through a specially developed app, Porsche and Michelin were able to identify risks to the sustainability of the supply chain in rubber extraction and by conducting discussions with market participants in the area.
“CASCADE is an example of Michelin’s commitment to a sustainable natural rubber supply chain that protects the environment and improves livelihoods,” says Hélène Paul, Senior Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer at Michelin. “We are happy to be working with Porsche on this ambitious project. For almost 20 years, we have enjoyed a close partnership in the tyre business, which we are now also expanding to the area of sustainability.”
(Photo Courtesy: Porsche)
CASCADE, which will initially run until 2024, is one of the first support projects in the world to start at the lowest level of the natural rubber supply chain. It aims to see 1,000 smallholders be trained by local partners to make extraction methods more environmentally compatible and efficient, making a considerable contribution to the lasting improvement of living conditions of smallholders and their families. Porsche and Michelin will be investing around one million euros into the project.
The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) recently hosted the “Palm Oil-Free Labels: Misleading the EU consumer” virtual webinar to raise awareness on the common and misleading practice of using “palm oil free” labels in the EU market to the detriment of palm oil’s reputation and included calls for more constructive and informative ways forward. The panellists agreed that boycotting palm oil is not the solution but understanding the full picture and encouraging sustainable palm oil is.
The Executive Director of CPOPC, Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Yusof Basiron, along with sustainability experts, Ms Imkje Tiesinga, Advisor on food legislation at the European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) and Mr Nico Roozen, Founder and Honorary President of Solidaridad Network, highlighted the need for better rules to be adopted at EU level to avoid further confusion and improve valid consumers’ information.
In his opening remarks, Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Yusof Basiron highlighted that “The ongoing negative sentiments that have been existing for the longest time in the EU markets such as phasing out palm oil in biofuel use via RED II requires a consistent effort to build a common understanding because we are facing a global challenge of growing consumption of vegetable oils amidst supply shortages projected for the future.”
According to Professor Pietro Paganini (Competere.eu), moderator of the event, “Free from labels can be deceiving, as in the case of palm oil. Its absence does not bring any improvement for consumers nor for the environment.”
The panellists Ms Imkje Tiesinga, Advisor on food legislation at the European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) and Mr Nico Roozen, Founder and Honorary President of Solidaridad Network, highlighted the importance of sustainable palm oil for smallholder farmers and the fulfilment of UN Sustainable Development Goals and the severe consequences that a palm oil ban could have on the economies of producing countries.
Ms Imkje Tiesinga made the following call for action: “Let’s replace all efforts on palm free products with jointly communicating the honest story of sustainable palm oil to completely transform the market.”
Mr Roozen highlighted that “The future of palm oil is sustainable palm oil. No boycotts but addressing the critical issues. The suggestion that alternative vegetable oils could replace palm oil is misleading and counterproductive,” showing how replacing palm oil with other vegetable oils could require up to 4,5 times more land, putting more pressure on the environment on a global scale.
A lively Q&A at the end of the webinar gave the opportunity to panellists and the audience to further discuss and deepen their understanding of the EU approach towards palm oil, highlighting the urgent need for a change in the status quo of the EU labelling rules towards a fairer system for palm oil and EU consumers. A special statement from the audience was delivered by H.E. Mr. Andri Hadi, Ambassador of Indonesia in Brussels, who pointed out the marked reduction of deforestation rates in Indonesia (70% reduction from 2019 to 2020) and the sustainability commitments implemented by Indonesia and Malaysia, explaining that “Environmentally, the palm oil industry is fully aware of the sustainability aspect, hence palm oil should not be synonymous with deforestation anymore. It should be understood in a holistic and non-discriminatory manner”.
In view of the awaited publication of the Commission’s proposal to revise the EU rules on the information provided to consumers, CPOPC looks forward to fostering further debates and understanding around this important topic for producers and consumers alike. Planned for the end of 2022, the revision aims to ensure better labelling information to help consumers make healthier and more sustainable food choices: to this end, CPOPC’s webinar provided inputs and food for thought to ensure that palm oil is given a fairer treatment in the foreseen EU initiative.
With an estimated more than 9,500 products labelled “palm oil free” in various EU countries’ markets, consumers are constantly confronted to a negative perception of palm oil when buying food: this on-pack labelling has become even more visible than other real nutrition or health information, i.e. allergens, sugar content or carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction (CMR) substances such as paraben.
Source: Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries
MY E.G. Services Berhad (MYEG) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Institute of Industrial Internet & IoT, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) of China for the international extension of China’s national blockchain network, Xinghuo Blockchain Infrastructure and Facility (“Xinghuo BIF”), by introducing backbone and supernodes outside China to be known as Zetrix.
Countries and corporations especially in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) regions can utilise Zetrix as a gateway to China’s Xinghuo BIF network to maximise the potential of the free trade agreement by leveraging on blockchain technologies. Pilot applications in blockchain will power trade traceability, digital identity, supply chain management, smart financing and digital trade will enable a new wave of innovation and talent development towards a borderless future. RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement, covering 30% of global GDP and 30% of the world population, with intra-regional trade among member countries amounting to some US$2.5 trillion annually.
The event was held in conjunction with the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, at the Malaysia Pavilion, with the signing ceremony witnessed by YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham Bin Baba, Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation of Malaysia. Present in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were Datuk Zainal Abidin Bin Abu Hassan, Secretary General of Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation, Malaysia, Dato’ Dr. Norraesah Binti Haji Mohamad, Executive Chairman of MYEG and Mr. Wong Thean Soon, Group Managing Director of MYEG, while in China, participants included Ms. Wang Zhiqin, Deputy Director of CAICT, and Ms. Li Haihua, Deputy Director of Institute of Industrial Internet & Internet of Things (IoT), CAICT.
MYEG will work together with CAICT to establish Xinghuo BIF’s international extension platform, Zetrix and construct backbone and supernodes around the world. Zetrix will also enable a gateway for public blockchains to integrate into Zetrix and Xinghuo BIF’s permissioned blockchain environments, making the network compatible for smart contract developers and enterprises. The strong collaboration between MYEG and CAICT will allow global enterprises an accelerated opportunity for direct entry into Xinghuo BIF, allowing them to leverage China’s new digital & blockchain infrastructure.
During his keynote address, YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham Bin Baba welcomed the collaboration between CAICT and MYEG in constructing blockchain-based supernodes outside of China, which will promote technology innovation creation of high value jobs and increasing cross border commerce. It is a major step for Malaysia towards a digital future, in line with the agenda of Twelfth (12th) Malaysia Plan to digitalise the Malaysian economy.
He further described Zetrix as a catalyst for blockchain technology adoption and innovation across all business sectors, which will allow and accelerate the adoption of 4IR technologies – Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), advanced materials and technologies as well as cloud computing and big data analytics.
On the other hand, CAICT Deputy Director, Ms. Wang Zhiqin has reiterated that China is attaching great importance to blockchain technology and industrial development. In the “14th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China and the Outline of Long-term Objectives for 2035”, blockchain is listed as one of the seven key industries of the digital economy.
Zetrix backbone and supernodes will be fully compatible with the Xinghuo BIF infrastructure, providing a competitive edge for local and regional companies trading with their Chinese counterparts and each other, to integrate smoothly and seamlessly with China’s supply chain network on Xinghuo BIF. It increases administrative efficiency and at the same time enhances transparency and product traceability, which are key to provide added value for ever-increasing consumer awareness.
Countries around the world are continuously making breakthroughs in technologies. With this partnership, MYEG aims to be at the forefront of blockchain technology for a borderless future.
Source: MY E.G. Services Berhad