For a long time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) has been engaged in the task of acknowledging the efforts of people associated with filmmaking. When it comes to filmmaking, many aspects work together to make a movie super hit. There must be a proper combination of technical and non-technical aspects. This fact was realized some time after the first Oscar ceremony and the Academy started honoring scientific and technical achievements since the very early years of the establishment of the organization. It was in the year 1931 that the first 'Academy Scientific and Technical Award' was given, for scientific or technological milestones.

Academy Scientific and Technical Award is presented in three separate categories, with the winners being voted on by the Board of Governors of the Academy. In the first category - 'Award of Merit', winners are decided on the basis of their basic achievements that have influenced the advancement of the industry, as a whole. In the second category - 'Scientific and Engineering Award', the award is given for high level of engineering or scientific merit. The third category - 'Technical Achievement Award' is awarded for technical accomplishments that have served as valuable contributions to the progress of the industry. The awards are presented at "a dinner ceremony, separate from the annual telecast". Presently, the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony usually takes place two weeks prior to the main Academy Awards ceremony.