Matter: the stuff the world is made of. Matter was created in the universe, but how exactly did it come into being? And what are its properties? The FAIR accelerator facility in Darmstadt: Here, scientists want to unravel the secrets about the structure and evolution of the universe. Giant planets, stars, and stellar explosions subject matter to extreme conditions such as very high temperatures and pressures — and these extreme conditions can be reproduced at FAIR. FAIR is the universe in the laboratory. We have a number of scientific discoveries which already are sure to be made here, but I know from experience that whenever you provide scientists with such a big jump in the capabilities of a scientific instrument what you get are surprises. We know that there’s going to be discoveries, we had them planned, their measurements that we know will produce results, but it’s the surprises that I’m after. FAIR is the only facility of its kind in the world. It consists of a ring accelerator with a circumference of 1,100 meters and a complex system of storage rings and experiments. FAIR will produce beams of ions and anti-protons of the highest quality and intensity. This are unique opportunities world-wide, and this is why researchers from all over the world, already 53 countries, are seeing this as their laboratory of choice for their research in the coming years. To bring the universe into the laboratory, scientists at FAIR have organized themselves into four experiment collaborations. They want to find answers to questions like: How are heavy chemical elements created in stars and stellar explosions? In what form does matter exist in neutron stars — the extremely compact remnants of supernova explosions? How can anti-matter help us understand the mass of matter and the strong force? Which fundamental symmetries define our universe? What are the properties of high-density plasmas that occur in the interiors of large planets? How can we use particles to heal diseases, and how can we protect astronauts against cosmic radiation? Can we use ion beams to change specific properties of materials? The collaborations have developed cutting-edge measurement methods and techniques for their research. They will measure the particle collisions generated by the accelerator, using detectors, some of which are as tall as a building. Vast amounts of data will be accumulated during the experiments. This data will be saved and evaluated by one of the most energy-efficient computer centers in the world, a new ultra-high-performance computer center called Green IT Cube. The computer racks are cooled by water using a patented system that was developed in-house – just one example of the many innovations that have resulted from basic research. FAIR will help accelerate the development of vacuum technology, magnet technology, and superconductivity. The FAIR facility is being built at GSI, the Helmholtz Centre for heavy ion research, a world-renowned research institute that has more than 40 years of experience in building and operating accelerators. At GSI, scientists have discovered six new chemical elements, for example, and developed a tumor treatment that uses heavy ions. FAIR is being built by an international partnership of nine countries. The biggest contribution is being made by Germany. More than 3,000 scientists from every continent will conduct research here, and they are already preparing the experiments of the future. One of the greatest things of this laboratory is that it is a unique opportunity for learning. So we have people coming from all over the world, from South Africa to Japan, here to learn not only science but all sorts of different advanced technologies, and for us this is a fundamental function of our laboratory, that we provide training and opportunities for growth to young people in science and in engineering and that this then goes back to society at large and is our contribution to the future of the world.