Fertiliser suppliers face possible EU scrutiny

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Fertiliser suppliers face possible scrutiny following a complaint to European Union authorities from one producer. Irish fertiliser prices remain higher than in the UK despite an easing in energy costs over the last year, sparking concern among farmers, who have raised the issue with politicians and regulators. Organic producer Supersoil confirmed on Wednesday that it has lodged a complaint against the Republic’s chemical fertiliser suppliers with EU authorities alleging anticompetitive practices. Barry)’Halloran had the details.

Ethos Engineering has secured private equity player Exponent as a backer in a move that will aid the data centre designer in recruiting 250 additional workers. The deal follows news that Exponent has agreed to buy businessman Michael Burke’s Chanelle Pharma for up to €300 million late last month. Ethos said on Wednesday that Exponent would make a “significant investment” in the engineering business to accelerate its current growth plans and boost the services it offers to clients. Barry O’Halloran reports.

Last week, the European Parliament approved the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, a groundbreaking piece of EU regulation that will place significant controls and responsibilities on this fast-changing sector, bolstered by the threat of large fines. However, writes Karlin Lillington in her weekly column, the AI Act, while a decent regulatory start, doesn’t address some deep structural issues. More is needed. Meanwhile, some AIs should be restricted until the Act’s enforceability matches its intent.

Cantillon wonders if Kenmare’s managing director’s exit after 38 years will embolden its activist investor and finds that a funny thing happened to Simon Coveney on his way to Croke Park on Wednesday morning.


US Federal Reserve officials indicated on Wednesday that they still expected to cut interest rates by 75 basis points this year, a sign of confidence that inflation is cooling sufficiently to reduce borrowing costs.

For Annika Bizon, artificial intelligence has one simple role: to make things easier. The new head of Samsung’s mobile experience for Ireland and the UK has taken over the role at a time when AI features have piqued consumers’ interest. But it can also be confusing. “People chuck the word AI out all over the place,” Ciara O’1brien hears Ms Bizon. “The job we had was how do we make it make sense?”

Peter Blennerhassett and Bartlomiej Baran are the brains behind Blynksolve, a software platform that helps big pharma speed up the introduction of new manufacturing processes and reduce risk, writes Olive Keogh. “The problem we’re addressing is the lack of clarity around complex manufacturing processes and the challenge of getting everyone on the same page so they can do their work efficiently,” Blennerhassett says.

What is behind Bitcoin's remarkable recovery?

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Four years after Covid lockdowns began, some of the hobbies we took up to kill time have endured. It may have been a while since you saw someone’s home-made banana bread or sourdough showcased on Instagram, but the crafting boom appears to have taken root. One of the beneficiaries of that has been Cricut, which makes a range of digital cutting machines. Ciara O’Brien takes its latest, the Cricut Joy Xtra, for a spin.

Steve Brierley did not have to negotiate intellectual property rights when he quit his academic position at Cambridge University to create a start-up. But he was still glad he founded his tech company there – and could take advantage of the institution’s broader benefits. Andrew Jack finds out about the value of university-business links.

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