Jard van Ingen en Thijs van de Poll (blauw shirt).
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Dutch tech company Focus has won the 2024 CES Innovation Award in the AI category. Focus was the first in the world to develop an AI analytics platform that predicts the technological future based on global patent data.

By winning this award, the Rotterdam-based company joins an impressive list of previous winners, such as the Ring Video Doorbell and Google Assistant for Maps. The CES Innovation Awards are an initiative of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a trade show known as the world’s most prestigious technology fair with 170,000 visitors. This year, a separate category for AI was introduced for the first time.

Besides Focus, eleven other Dutch start-ups also won a Innovation Award: Axelera, Doser, Healthplus.ai, InkInvent, LVEnergy, Mantispectra, Naya, Sevvy, SlimDesign, Susphos, and Whispp. 

  • Dutch tech company Focus has won the 2024 CES Innovation Award in the AI category for its groundbreaking AI analytics platform;
  • AI tools from Focus measure how quickly technologies are actually getting better, even before new generations hit the market.

Focus uses predictive AI analytics tools to identify future technology trends based on patent data. Focus’ insights enable proactive decision-making and strategic investments in emerging technologies. Clients include major companies such as Suez, Reckitt, Philips, and the U.S. Navy. Thus, Focus’ analyses even reach the White House, contributing to determining international technology strategy. Rotterdam entrepreneur Pieter Schoen recently invested one million euros in the company.

‘The Netherlands leading the way’

“The number of new technologies is growing exponentially, making it increasingly difficult to determine which technologies will win,” said Jard van Ingen, CEO and co-founder of Focus. “In 1900, there were 215 technology categories; in 1970, there were 70,000, and today there are more than 265,000. Focus helps R&D teams, decision-makers, and government agencies unravel this maze of technologies to stay ahead and make the right decisions for the future.”

Constantijn van Oranje is proud that a Dutch company like Focus is internationally recognized for its innovative strength: “This prestigious award is an important recognition and encouragement of the team behind Focus. It is also a sign of the Netherlands’ pioneering role in technological innovation and artificial intelligence. The award underlines the importance of investing in forward-looking technologies and fostering an environment where technological progress and entrepreneurship can flourish.”

About Focus

Focus was founded in 2019 by friends Jard van Ingen and Thijs van de Poll. During their studies, the idea arose to use artificial intelligence to predict future technological developments. Focus can see what technological changes are imminent based on global patent data. Meanwhile, the company counts large corporates such as Philips and Reckitt among its customers and works on behalf of the U.S. Navy, reporting to the Pentagon. Thus, the White House uses the insights generated by Focus to determine international technology strategy. The company is based in Rotterdam.

Predicting the future

Van Ingen explains how Focus differentiates itself: “If you only look at the popularity of technologies, you are already 1-0 behind. To accurately predict which new technologies will play a dominant role, you have to dig a layer deeper. With our AI tools, we can measure how quickly technologies are improving, even before new generations come to market. Based on how quickly technologies improve, we can predict the future. The technologies that develop the fastest always win in the end. An example: if Focus had existed in the 1990s, we could have already predicted the rise of the electric car based on the rate of improvement of lithium-ion batteries.”

Through an American discussion group where Van Ingen was invited to tell his entrepreneurial story, he came into contact with the U.S. Navy. After a small pilot, the U.S. Navy decided to keep expanding the cooperation. “Currently, it is our largest customer,” Van Ingen said. “We aim to provide them with full technology monitoring and timely alerts on disruptive developments so that supply chains can be secured and strategic decisions can be made proactively.”