On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. announced a series of new Azure services and developer technologies that put advanced capabilities spanning AI, mixed reality, IoT and blockchain in the hands of developers. The company will share these and additional advancements in hybrid cloud and edge computing at its Microsoft Build conference to empower developers.
“It’s an incredible time to be a developer. From building AI and mixed reality into apps to leveraging blockchain for solving commercial business problems, developers’ skillsets and impact are growing rapidly,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud and AI Group. “Today we’re delivering innovative Azure services for developers to build the next generation of apps. With 95% of Fortune 500 customers running on Azure, these innovations can have far-reaching impact.”
Furthering Microsoft’s commitment to building the most productive AI platform
Microsoft announced a new set of Azure AI technology aimed to help developers and data scientists apply AI to any solution.
- Azure Cognitive Services power applications to see, hear, respond, translate, reason and more. Microsoft is launching a new Cognitive Services category, called “Decision,” that delivers users a specific recommendation for more informed and efficient decision-making. This category includes Content Moderator, the recently announced Anomaly Detector, and a new service called Personalizer, which uses reinforcement learning to provide users with a specific recommendation to enable quick and informed decision-making.
- Microsoft is bringing AI to Azure Search with the general availability of the cognitive search capability, enabling customers to apply Cognitive Services algorithms to extract new insights from their structured and unstructured content. In addition, we are previewing a new capability that enables developers to store AI insights gained from cognitive search, making it easier to create knowledge-rich experiences leveraging Power BI visualizations or machine learning models.
New innovations in Azure Machine Learning simplify the process of building, training and deploying machine learning models:
- MLOps capabilities with Azure DevOps integration provides developers with reproducibility, auditability and automation of the end-to-end machine learning lifecycle.
- Automated ML advancements and an intuitive UI make developing high-quality models easier.
- Visual machine learning interface provides no-code model creation and deployment experience with drag-and-drop capabilities.
- To enable extremely low latency and cost-effective inferencing, Microsoft is announcing the general availability of hardware–accelerated models that run on FPGAs, as well as ONNX Runtime support for NVIDIA TensorRT and Intel nGraph for high-speed inferencing on NVIDIA and Intel chipsets.
Expanding opportunity at the Intelligent Edge
The company introduced several new products and solutions today that continue to address the existing and emerging needs of hybrid cloud and edge computing:
- Microsoft introduced Azure SQL Database Edge to support the spectrum of edge compute needs. A SQL engine optimized for lower compute requirements with built-in AI, the product combines data streaming with in-database machine learning and graph capabilities to enable intelligence on the edge. Because Azure SQL Database Edge shares the same programming surface area with Azure SQL Database and SQL Server, developers can easily take applications to the edge without having to learn new tools and languages, providing a consistent programming experience.
- Microsoft also announced IoT Plug and Play, a new open modeling language to seamlessly connect IoT devices to the cloud, enabling developers to navigate one of the biggest challenges they face — deploying IoT solutions at scale. Previously, software had to be written specifically for the connected device it supported, limiting the scale of IoT deployments. IoT Plug and Play will offer customers a large ecosystem of partner-certified devices that can connect quickly.
- For mixed-reality development, Microsoft is making it easier to create for HoloLens 2 with the HoloLens 2 Development Edition, which provides the community of mixed-reality developers with access to solutions to help them build and run mixed-reality experiences across a range of devices.
- Unreal Engine 4 support for streaming and native platform integration for HoloLens 2 will be available for developers by the end of May to create high-quality, photo-realistic renders and immersive, mixed-reality experiences for solutions spanning architecture, product design, manufacturing and more.
Doubling down on investments to empower blockchain developers
Last year, Microsoft announced Azure Blockchain Workbench, which gave developers a simple UI to model blockchain applications on a preconfigured Azure-supported network. Today’s announcements take it even further.
- Azure Blockchain Service simplifies the formation, management and governance of consortium blockchain networks, allowing businesses to focus on workflow logic and app development. Azure Blockchain Service deploys a fully managed consortium network and offers built-in governance for common management tasks, such as adding new members, setting permissions and authenticating user applications.
- Microsoft also announced this week that J.P. Morgan’s Ethereum platform, Quorum, is the first ledger available in Azure Blockchain Service, giving Microsoft and J.P. Morgan customers the ability to deploy and manage scalable blockchain networks in the cloud.
More than 6,000 developers and content creators will join Microsoft in Seattle next week for the conference to learn about the latest advancements in cloud and developer technologies, as well as get hands-on experience with them. Today’s announcements give developers of all kinds new cutting-edge tools to create the next generation of applications for intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. There will be even more showcased next week at Build.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
Arçelik tops DHP Household Durables industry in S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment with highest ESG score
Arçelik’s continuous commitment to sustainability has resulted in the company achieving the highest score for the fifth year in a row
ISTANBUL, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Arçelik A.Ş. (ARCLK: IST, “Arçelik”), the global leading consumer durables and electronics manufacturer, scored 86/100 (Score date: 22/09/23) in the 2023 S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which evaluates the world’s largest companies and assesses their sustainability performance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts.
The company achieved the highest score out of 46 companies assessed in the DHP Household Durables Industry. This announcement highlights Arçelik’s continuous commitment to a sustainable future and places the company once again as the benchmark brand in the manufacturing industry.
The recognition follows the 2023 United Nations Global Assembly Conference (UNGA), where the company has joined the Forward Faster initiative to support acceleration of 2030 goals and made significant commitments in three key areas: Climate Action, Water Action, and Sustainable Finance.
Arçelik has also pledged its commitment to the Science Based Targets Initiative, aiming to become a net-zero company as of 2050 in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) Corporate Net Zero Standard. This means that Arçelik will take a more ambitious step and update its near-term approved science-based targets and set a long-term target according to 1.5-degree scenario.
These net-zero targets will lead Arçelik to reduce its global Scope 1- 2 and Scope 3 emissions by 90% by 2050, using 2022 base year. This will be realised through innovative actions in across its entire value chain. Investing in qualified nature-based and/or technology-based carbon removal projects will address the 10% residual emissions in line with the SBTi Corporate Net Zero Standard.
Commenting on Arçelik’s consistent inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, Hakan Bulgurlu said, “It is a privilege to have achieved the highest score on the DJSI for the fifth consecutive year – this recognition is a significant accolade for our business. Arçelik’s efforts towards building a more sustainable future, not only for our company but also for our customers, are consistently evolving. Sustainability is deeply ingrained in every aspect of Arçelik’s value chain. Our actions are aimed at creating a positive domino effect; it’s about encouraging consumers to make more sustainable purchasing decisions and to incorporate habitual changes into their daily lives. Together, these changes will help shape the future of our planet, society, and health for the better. I am excited about what lies ahead, fueled by our company’s successes to-date, with an everlasting passion to deliver even more positive changes for the future, including fulfilling our science-based targets to reduce our Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions.”
With its impressive ESG score and ongoing commitment to sustainability, Arçelik continues to inspire other companies to prioritize environmental responsibility, social impact, and good governance practices. By setting high standards and leading by example, Arçelik is making a significant contribution towards building a more sustainable future for all.
Notes to editors
For more information on Arçelik’s sustainability performance, please refer to its Sustainability Report 
ABOUT S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND DOW JONES SUSTAINABILITY INDICES
S&P Dow Jones Indices is the largest global resource for essential index-based concepts, data and research, and home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®. More assets are invested in products based on our indices than products based on indices from any other provider in the world. Since Charles Dow invented the first index in 1884, S&P DJI has been innovating and developing indices across the spectrum of asset classes helping to define the way investors measure and trade the markets.
The DJSI are float-adjusted market capitalization weighted indices that measure the performance of companies selected using environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. The DJSI, including the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), were launched in 1999 as the pioneering series of global sustainability benchmarks available in the market. The index family is comprised of global, regional and country benchmarks. Arçelik has featured in the DJSI since 2017.
The full results and list of DJSI constituents are available at https://www.spglobal.com/esg/csa/
For more information about the DJSI methodology, please visit: https://www.spglobal.com/spdji
With over 40,000 employees throughout the world, Arçelik’s global operations include subsidiaries in 53 countries, and 31 production facilities in 9 countries and 14 brands owned or used with a limited license (Arçelik, Beko, Grundig, Blomberg, ElektraBregenz, Arctic, Leisure, Flavel, Defy, Altus, Dawlance, Voltas Beko, Singer*, Hitachi*). Arçelik’s 30 R&D and Design Centers & Offices across the globe are home to over 2,300 researchers and hold up to 3,000 international registered patent applications to date. Arçelik’s vision is ‘Respecting the World, Respected Worldwide.’
- Licensee limited to certain jurisdictions.
HIVENTURES: HUNGARIAN AGRICULTURE ON THE RISE – KEEP AN EYE ON THESE COMPANIES
BUDAPEST, Hungary, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Central and Eastern European member states play a significant part in the agricultural production and economic performance of the European Union. While the EU’s agricultural policy focuses on supporting the agriculture of the region’s the member states, food safety is becoming a more urgent issue due to climate and geopolitical changes, which encourages the founding of developments within the sector. In recent years, Hungary has seen a significant rise in capital investments in agriculture, in line with current trends. Following numerous successful investments, agro-technological companies producing for export are poised for continued growth. Hiventures, a member of the MFB Group, offers the right financing environment and opportunities for development and expansion.
UBM Holding Nyrt.: As the leading feed industry, grain, and protein crop trader in the region, the company group successfully increased its capital on the Budapest Stock Exchange by approximately 13.5 million euros last year through Hiventures’ corporate investment. This capital infusion has solidified the financial stability of the company group, enabling them to expand not only within Hungary but also into the Romanian and Slovak markets, which will further boost their export market share.
The group has established a presence in Austria, Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia, generating almost half of their sales revenue from export activities. Leveraging high-quality raw materials and collaborating with foreign partners, they produce 14,000 tons of premix annually, in high demand.
Civita Food Kft.: Likewise, the Civita group, which went public this summer with support from Hiventures, aims to enhance its exports and to develop of innovative products. The company, specializing in corn processing, flour, semolina, corn oil, and gluten-free pasta, sees significant potential in the gluten-free foods market due to efficiency advancements.
The group has established a presence in numerous countries in Central and Eastern Europe with its range of milling products and gluten-free pasta. Through innovative developments, their new milling technology allows for the complete removal of the corn germ from the corn grain, making it suitable for pressing.
Szatmári „Rege” Konzervgyár Kft.: Szatmári Konzervgyár Kft. is a key supplier in the EU’s market for fruit and vegetables, preserves and pickles that are processed without preservatives and are sourced from the Eastern Hungarian region, which is particularly important for Hungarian agriculture. More than 70 percent of the factory’s products are sold outside the borders, with pickled cucumbers being a standout product. The raw materials for production are sourced from domestic suppliers, covering approximately 3,000 hectares, with particular emphasis on controlled organic farming required for organic products.
EKO Konzervipari Kft.: The company, also operating in the eastern part of Hungary, has been producing canned products for more than 50 years. Utilizing modern sealing (vacuum) and heat treatment (sterilization, pasteurization) technologies, they produce preservative-free foods, including green peas, sweet corn, canned beans, and various pickled products. Thanks to their reliable and well-established logistics system covering both eastern and western operations, the company achieves an export rate of around 70%. Following a successful financial restructuring supported by Hiventures, EKO has recently entered joint management and ownership with Szatmári Konzervgyár, providing an additional guarantee for quality production and the continued development of both companies.
Due to Hiventures’ reliable and predictable operations, coupled with their educational initiatives, capital investment is gaining popularity not only in the agriculture sector but also among medium and large companies across various industries. Aligned with efforts for economic development, the capital fund manager has contributed to the development of nearly 40 Hungarian companies by disbursing around 100 million euros over the past three years.
PAAMC HK Wins ESG Investing Award for Three Consecutive Years
HONG KONG, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Ping An of China Asset Management (Hong Kong) Company Limited (“PAAMC HK” or “Company“), the offshore asset management arm of the Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (“Ping An“), was bestowed the ESG Leading Enterprises Awards 2023, recognized in the category of “ESG Investing”. This marks the third consecutive year that the Company has received this prestigious recognition.
As a pioneer embodying Ping An’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy in our overseas business, PAAMC HK adheres firmly to its commitment to embedding ESG principles at the core of its investment philosophy and practices. In 2019, the Company launched the first China-focused green bond fund in the world, offering global investors with much-needed access to the second-largest green bond market in the world*.
“We are delighted and honored to receive the ESG Investing Award for the third year in a row. This repeat recognition underscores our steadfast commitment to ESG investing and our continuous efforts to create long-term value for our investors while making a positive impact on society and the environment,” said Mr. Albert Wang, Head of Capital Markets and CIO of PAAMC HK. “The three-year winning streak also demonstrates our team’s ability to adapt to evolving market trends and regulatory landscapes.”
Jointly presented by the Chinese Edition of Bloomberg Businessweek and Deloitte, this year’s ESG Leading Enterprise Awards announced and honored the winners on November 23. By recognizing Hong Kong-listed enterprises and asset management companies with outstanding ESG performance, the campaign aims at encouraging enterprises to strive for excellence in ESG practices, ultimately to foster a sustainable business culture with positive impact on the environment and society.
Following a rigorous judging procedure advised by Deloitte that ensures credibility and objectivity, a panel of professional judges assessed the submissions based on participating enterprises’ ESG governance mechanisms, goals and performance, as well as environmental and social initiatives.
* Source: Climate Bonds Initiative, as of 31 December, 2022.
- Arçelik tops DHP Household Durables industry in S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment with highest ESG score
- HIVENTURES: HUNGARIAN AGRICULTURE ON THE RISE – KEEP AN EYE ON THESE COMPANIES
- PAAMC HK Wins ESG Investing Award for Three Consecutive Years
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