“New thinking and progressive problem-solving are what keep our industry alive.”

– Brett Wood, President and CEO, Toyota Material Handling North America

The Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA) University Research Program is a sponsored research program created to drive the next generation of technology for the material handling industry. The industry’s end-to-end approach to provide complete solutions to customers that are smarter, more efficient and more effective has fueled this program. The mission is to encourage professors and researchers to apply their knowledge of engineering and technical fields, drawing synergies and collaboration between collegiate research and Toyota Material Handling North America.

Through the University Research Program, Toyota Material Handling North America is seeking proposals that innovate and elevate the material handling industry.


Proposal themes related to these areas are encouraged, but given the broad nature of material handling, other themes are welcome.


  • Material handling for last mile delivery
  • Material handling for urban environments
  • Material handling for piece picking
  • Material handling for reverse logistics
  • Material handling automation
  • Remote operation of material handling equipment
  • Warehousing Energy Infrastructure
  • VR/AR for material handling applications
  • Machine learning in material handling
  • ADAS systems for material handling equipment
  • Industry 4.0




Proposal Submissions Open
September 1, 2018

Proposal Deadline
December 15, 2018

Announcement of  Selected Proposals
April 2019


Review eligibility and evaluation criteria for the TMHNA University Research Program. Download the Program Overview document for complete details on how to submit your proposal. Complete proposals and supporting documents should be sent to







  • Full-time professors or researchers in North American universities are eligible to apply.

  • The University Research Program's  Proposal Confirmation Letter must be approved without modification by the university as part of the proposal submission process.

Evaluation Criteria


  • Research must contribute to the field of material handling.

  • Research must be significant, innovative and have a positive impact on the future of material handling.

  • Research effort must be well planned and feasible within the time period specified and budget requested.

  • Researchers and principal investigators must be qualified in the proposed field of research.

Proposal Finalists

  •  Selected proposals will receive financial support of up to $500,000 per year.  It is anticipated that multiple awards will be made.

  • Faculty that receive financial support through the University Research Program may be invited to renew the contract for up to three years based on the research outcomes.



For questions regarding the TMHNA University Research Program, please contact us:

About Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA)

Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA), the industry leader in forklift sales, is composed of three main group companies: Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., Inc.; Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg., Inc.; and The Raymond Corporation. One in three forklifts sold in North America is either a Toyota or Raymond product. With more than 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing space, TMHNA is composed of three manufacturing plant locations (Columbus, Indiana; Greene, New York; and Muscatine, Iowa) that produce 1,500 forklifts per week on average, with parts distribution locations in Syracuse, New York, and Columbus, Indiana, with more than 3 million service parts available. With an annual revenue of approximately $3 billion, TMHNA has more than 7,300 people and more than 300 dealer locations to support Toyota and Raymond customers.


Confidential and Proprietary Information

Participants shall ensure that no confidential or proprietary information is included in submitted proposals.  TMHNA will treat all information submitted in proposals as non-confidential and non-proprietary.  The nature of the URP requires that submitted proposals be reviewed by TMHNA personnel, including TMHNA researchers, who will become knowledgeable of the information provided by the university researcher in the project proposal.  During the evaluation process, TMHNA cannot maintain the confidentiality of information set forth in the proposals.  Accordingly, TMHNA does not require, and does not desire, to receive any information that may be deemed confidential by the university researcher or the university.

© Copyright 2018. Toyota Material Handling North America, The Raymond Corporation. University Research Program, Terms of Use  | Privacy Policy