SPIE is coined from Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, a society of international repute dedicated to imparting advance photonics-based technologies. Since its inception in the year 1955 it has been serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries. This US based society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE publishes the SPIE Digital Library, containing more than 296,000 research papers from the Proceedings of SPIE and the Society's 9 scholarly journals with around 18,000 new papers added each year, and more than 120 eBooks from the SPIE Press catalog in the fields of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, Electronic Imaging, Nanophotonics, Photonics for Energy, Applied Remote Sensing, Biomedical and Optical Engineering
SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. It also recognizes outstanding contributions from individuals throughout the scientific community regardless of membership status by SPIE's awards program. In 2009, the Society provided more than $2 million in support of scholarships, grants, and other education programs around the world.
Membership includes Fellows and Senior Member programs. The Society has named more than 840 SPIE members as Fellows since 1955, and implemented its Senior Member program in 2008.