The Rujan Entwicklung und Forschung (R-EF) GmbH has been founded in 2008 in Freiburg by Dr. Pal Rujan.
Pal Rujan has a PhD in theoretical physics. In 1999 he left academia to lead the AI group (his former academic team) at SER AG, Neustadt, Germany. In the 90’s SER was a big star of the german burgeoning IT field. Accordingly, when the .com bubble burst, it also inflicted major financial losses on its investors.
The SER AI Team developed the first commercialized support vector engine for text classification („brainware“) in 1999. An automatic image clustering and classification engine specialized in forms and invoice automatic classification followed in 2001. Furthermore, we developed a powerful fuzzy text search engine based on associative memory, used in automatic text extraction. This and related later work were awarded several patents worldwide. The engines were integrated in several capture and document managing applications, like automatic invoice processing, extraction, and routing. They are used today in almost all big companies with paper input.
With the dot.com bubble the SER AG went bust in 2002. The IP and the valuable work of the SER AI-Team landed in the US and restarted shortly as a company called „Brainware“. The same year Pal Rujan and Alexander Goerke started their own company called Learning Computers International (LCI) GmbH in Freiburg, Germany.
LCI was acquired in 2005 by Kofax Inc. for 10 Mill Eu. In 2012 Lexmark International acquired Brainware for 158 Mill U$, and in 2015 also Kofax for 1 billion U$. In 2016 Lexmark International was acquired by Apex Technology and PAG Asia Capital for approximately $3.6 billion.
After leaving Kofax Development GmbH in 2008, Dr. Pal Rujan founded R-EF GmbH in order to focus on broader AI applications. He also continued the LCI projects outside the document management segment, in particular the "Seeing Scales" object recognition project, used in self-service supermarket scales for the automatic detection of fruits and vegetables.