Neurotechnologies used to treat brain disorders and diseases can drastically change brain function and behavior,
monitor brain activity, and collect and transmit personal health data. Industry-academia (IA) partnerships play a
critical role in bringing neurotechnologies to market for public benefit. However, there are significant ethical
issues that emerge from these partnerships, especially given the unique capacities of neurotechnologies. If these
ethical challenges are not handled appropriately, scientific integrity can be undermined and the objectivity in the
design, development, and commercialization of neurotechnologies can be jeopardized.
This project addresses a gap in our current understanding of ethical complexities in industry-academia (IA)
partnerships within the neurotechnology enterprise by engaging relevant neurotechnology stakeholders (e.g.,
industry, researchers, ethicists, university officials, patients) to identify promising and practical solutions for
addressing these ethical complexities. This project builds logically across three aims that culminate in the
development, dissemination, and evaluation of a toolkit that includes stakeholder-informed guidance for ethically
and responsibly navigating IA neurotechnology partnerships.
Aim 1 will use in-depth interviews with neurotechnology stakeholders to identify risk factors and ethical
challenges for IA partnerships, including in the design, conduct, reporting, and application of neurotechnology
research. Aim 2 will involve a Delphi consensus panel of neurotechnology stakeholders to establish best
practices and solutions for mitigating risk and addressing ethical issues that emerge from IA partnerships. Aim
3 will include developing, disseminating, and evaluating a toolkit that provides guidance and resources for
neurotechnology stakeholders to help them ethically and responsibly navigate neurotechnology IA partnerships.
We will recommend adoption of specific solutions for each stakeholder group.
This is the first project to systematically and simultaneously engage diverse neurotechnology stakeholders to
develop practical and actionable guidance for ethical and responsible IA neurotechnology partnerships. We will
develop the first publicly accessible stakeholder-informed toolkit that can be adapted to current and forthcoming
neurotechnologies resulting from IA partnerships. Taken together, this project will have considerable impact on
the conduct of neurotechnology research by identifying practical solutions for balancing scientific values with