Nowadays, the Industry 4.0 concept affects every area of the industrial, economic, social and personal sectors. The most significant changings are the automation and the digitalization. This is also true for the material handling processes, where the handling systems use more and more automated machines; planning, operation and optimization of different logistic processes are based on many digital data collected from the material flow process. However, new methods and devices require new solutions which define new research directions. In this paper we describe the state of the art of the material handling researches and draw the role of the UMi-TWINN partner institutes in these fields. As a result of this H2020 EU project, scientific excellence of the University of Miskolc can be increased and new research activities will be started.