We present a route toward a radical improvement in solar cell efficiency using resonant energy transfer and sensitization of semiconductor metal oxides with a light-harvesting quantum dot (QD)/bacteriorhodopsin (bR) layer designed by protein engineering. The specific aims of our approach are (1) controlled engineering of highly ordered bR/QD complexes; (2) replacement of the liquid electrolyte by a thin layer of gold; (3) highly oriented deposition of bR/QD complexes on a gold layer; and (4) use of the Forster resonance energy transfer coupling between bR and QDs to achieve an efficient absorbing layer for dye-sensitized solar cells. This proposed approach is based on the unique optical characteristics of QDs, on the photovoltaic properties of bR, and on state-of-the-art nanobioengineering technologies. It permits spatial and optical coupling together with control of hybrid material components on the bionanoscale. This method paves the way to the development of the solid-state photovoltaic device with the efficiency increased to practical levels. © 2014 American Chemical Society.