Employee entrance

Employee entrance

Promega says it will invest $190 million in a new research and development facility. Here, the view from the side of the building Promega staff will use to come and go.

Image courtesy of Promega

View from above

View from above

Promega expects to open the 270,000-square-foot building in 2020. It will allow the 1,500-person company to add 100 employees by 2023.

Image courtesy of Promega

Prairie setting

Prairie setting

The new facility will be larger than any of the 11 existing buildings on Promega’s corporate campus. The company picked a quiet, suburban section of Fitchburg, WI, for its headquarters.

Image courtesy of Promega

Master of ceremonies

Master of ceremonies

Promega founder and CEO Bill Linton, clad in a top hat and vest, addresses a crowd of about 350 people gathered at the groundbreaking site.

Image courtesy of Promega

Bespoke shovels

Bespoke shovels

Promega had a set of custom shovels made for the event.

Image courtesy of Promega

Moving dirt

Moving dirt

Company leaders, economic development officials, and others put the shovels to work.

Image courtesy of Promega

Linton’s launch

Linton’s launch

Promega’s longtime boss prepares to set off a fireworks display, which was arranged to show the perimeter of the future building.

Image courtesy of Promega

Kaboom!

Kaboom!

Two weeks may have passed since the Fourth of July, but who doesn’t enjoy a fireworks show?

Image courtesy of Promega

Things have been booming at Promega—literally.

The Fitchburg, WI-based life science supplies business on Wednesday held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 270,000-square-foot research and development facility that the company expects to open in late 2020.

The event, which about 350 people attended, even included a daytime fireworks display. The fireworks were arranged to demonstrate the outline of the future building, according to a company spokesperson.

Promega founder and CEO Bill Linton triggered the display using a handheld remote, as you can see in the above slideshow. The longtime biotech executive, who also has a pilot’s license, was clad in a top hat, vest, and aviator sunglasses.

Promega, which currently has 1,500 employees and brought in revenues of $410 million in fiscal 2017, says the new R&D building will allow the company to add up to 100 jobs by 2023. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. said it will provide Promega with up to $185,000 in state income tax credits, which are contingent on the company hitting certain job-creation targets.

The building will be the 12th at Promega’s suburban headquarters, and represents the largest real estate investment the company has made in the four decades it’s been in business.

According to a press release, the new facility will allow Promega to “respond to increasingly complex customer requirements.” The company says it sells 4,000 different products, which are distributed in the U.S. and 100 other countries.

Promega’s products are used in research laboratories, crime labs, and other settings. For example, researchers can use its luciferase assay system for tasks like measuring protein concentration. Another Promega product is the HiBiT protein tagging system, which The Scientist magazine named to its list of the top 10 innovations of 2017.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com