This study describes an interdisciplinary approach to develop a 5 degrees of freedom assistive upper limb exoskeleton (ULE) for users with severe to complete functional tetraplegia. Four different application levels were identified for the ULE ranging from basic technical application to interaction with users, interaction with caregivers and interaction with the society, each level posing requirements for the design and functionality of the ULE. These requirements were addressed through an interdisciplinary collaboration involving users, clinicians and researchers within social sciences and humanities, mechanical engineering, control engineering media technology and biomedical engineering. The results showed that the developed ULE, the EXOTIC, had a high level of usability, safety and adoptability. Further, the results showed that several topics are important to explicitly address in relation to the facilitation of interdisciplinary collaboration including, defining a common language, a joint visualization of the end goal and a physical frame for the collaboration, such as a shared laboratory. The study underlined the importance of interdisciplinarity and we believe that future collaboration amongst interdisciplinary researchers and centres, also at an international level, can strongly facilitate the usefulness and adoption of assistive exoskeletons and similar technologies.