Imperial College London

Dr Marin Sawa

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Visiting Researcher Association







704Sir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus




Research Grants

Faculty of Natural Sciences Strategic Funding ‘Collaboration Kick-start’(£19K), Imperial College London, 2019

EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account Award (£100K), Imperial College London, 2018; In industry collaboration with Arm Ltd (£30K in-kind support)

Techcelerate Fellowship (up to £30K), Imperial College London, 2018

Rector’s International Graduate Scholarship (approx. £60K), Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of Arts London, 2012

Conference talks

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Sawa, M. (2019, Dec 3). Development of Solar Biobattery for use in printed electronics. Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting; Symposium session SB03:‘Smart materials, devices and systems for interface with plants and microorganisms’. The Hynes Convention Centre, Boston, US. Invited speaker. Retrieved from

Sawa, M. (2018, November 15) Solar Biobattery: thin-film biophotovoltaic biobattery technology. IDTechEx Show (printed electronics), Santa Clara Convention Centre, CA, USA. Retrieved from

Sawa, M. (2018, Nov 9). Powering tomorrow's circuit: development of a thin-film biophotovoltaic system. PHYCONET Annual Conference 2018. Wesley Hotel, London. PHYCONET is a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Network in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BBSRC NIBB).

Sawa, M., Fantuzzi, A., Bombelli, P., Howe, C. J., Nixon, P. J., Hellgardt, K. (2018, September 17). Development of printed solar biobattery for use in bioelectronics. Arm Summit 2018. Robinson College, Cambridge. Abstract accepted July 2.  Retrieved from

Sawa, M. (2018, April 25). Solar Biobattery: Thin-film Biophotovoltaic Technology - from Research to Industry Collaboration. 8th European Algae Industry Summit. The Ritz-Carlton – Vienna. Invited Speaker. Expenses paid in part.

Sawa, M. (2017, February 8). An Ecosophical Intersection of Design and Algal Biotechnology: Algaerium Bioprinter And Algae Printing. Shaping the Future 2017. Ecole des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. Invited Speaker. Retrieved from Expenses paid.

Sawa, M. (2014, June 6). Interweaving Algal Biotechnology with the Urban Environment. Syn.De.Bio. Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Invited Speaker. Retrieved from


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Peer Reviewed Articles

Sawa, M., Fantuzzi, A., Bombelli, P., Howe, C. J., Hellgardt, K.., Nixon, P. J. (2017) Electricity generation from digitally printed cyanobacteria. Nature Communications 8, 1327. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01084-4.

Sawa, M. (2016) The laboratory life of a designer at the intersection with algal biotechnology. Architectural Research Quarterly. Cambridge University Press, 20(1), pp. 65–72. doi: 10.1017/S1359135516000191.


Sawa, M. Biorealism. Biodesign series ed, by Date-Robertson, M. Oxford: Routledge. (In process: publication due Jan 2022)

Selected Contributions to Books Edited by Others

Sawa, M. (2017) Algae Printing and Algaerium Bioprinter. In: Warriner, G., ed., Food Futures: Sensory Explorations in Food Design. Barcelona: Promopress Editions, pp196- 201.

Sawa, M. (2017) Algaerium Bioprinter and Algae Printing. In: Leopoldseder, H., ed., CyberArts 2017: Prix Ars Electronica · STARTS Prize ’17. Berlin: Hatje Cantz Verlag GmgH, p. 209.

Sawa, M. (2013) Algaerium Bioprinter. In: Gast, M., ed., smart technology – new design. Leipzig: Leipziger Messe GmbH.

Sawa, M. (2012) Algaerium. In: Myers, W. ed., Bio Design: Nature Science Creativity. London: Thames Hudson/ New York: Museum of Modern Art, pp. 88-91; special interview feature in pp. 266-267.

Sawa, M. (2012) Algaerium. In: Davis, C., ed., Futurotextiles 3: Surprising Textiles, Design & Art. Oostkamp: Stichting Kunstboek BVBA, p.25.

Sawa, M., (2010) Algaerium. In: Rüsseler, S., ed., i Fabric European Talent, Tilburg: Audax Texitle Museum, pp. 8-11.

Digital Media

Sawa, M. (2003) Urban Infill. In: ‘Pecha-kucha night’ 3 [CD-Rom]. May 23 at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo: Klein Dytham Architecture.


Publications: Invited Public Exhibitions

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Sawa, M. (2018). Algae Printing and Solar Biobattery. Biodesign Here and Now, London Design Festival [Installation]. Open Cell, London, England. Retrieved from

Sawa, M. (2017). Algaerium Bioprinter and Algae Printing. STARTS Prize ’17 Exhibition, BOZAR Electronic Art Festival [Installation]. Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium. Retrieved from

Sawa, M. (2017). Algaerium Bioprinter and Algae Printing. STARTS Prize ’17 Exhibition, Ars Electronica Festival [Installation]. Post City, Linz, Austria. Retrieved from Published in the accompanying book: see Publications.

Sawa, M. (2015). Algaerium Bioprinter. Przemiany festival/Anthropocene –design an epoch [Installation]. Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland. Retrieved from

Sawa, M. (2013). Algaerium. Biodesign: on the Cross-Pollination of Nature, Science and Creativity. The New Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Retrieved from Published in the exhibition catalogue.

Sawa, M. (2013). Algaerium Bioprinter. En Vie/Alive [Installation]. Foundation EDF, Paris. Retrieved from Published in the exhibition catalogue.

Sawa, M. (2011). Algaerium, Futurotextiles 3 [Installation]. CETI: the European Centre for Innovative Textiles, Lille France. Published in the exhibition catalogue.

Sawa, M. (2010). Algaerium. iFabric: European Talent [Installation]. Audax Textile Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands. Published in the exhibition catalogue.

Sawa, M. (2010). Algaerium. ‘100% Design’ with Global Colour Research (MIX Magazine) [Installation]. London Design Festival, Earls' Court, London, Sep.

Sawa, M. (2010). Algaerium. ‘Digital Explorations in Design’ event, Victoria & Albert Museum, London. (Selected for)



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Evening Talk (Keynote talk), Algae Platform, Architecture Studio Royal Academy of Arts, 2020 Jan.

Designjunction panel discussion on biotechnology and design. Designjunction, London Design Festival, 2018 Sep.

STARTS Prize Talks 1. Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria, 2017 Sep.

Przemiany Festival/Anthropocene –Design an epoch. Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland, 2016 Sep. (Expenses paid)

Mediamatic Bio Industry. Mediamatics, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2014 Mar. (Expenses paid)

Sustain Talks 3.6: Algae: Green Gold. SustainRCA, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2014 Apr.


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Invited speaker on panel talk on futures of energy grid, thinktank DareDisrupt, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2020 Aug.

Invited Algae-UK delegate at the ‘Pigments from Algae’ industry-research workshop, 2019 Nov.

Exhibitor, Booth 18, IDTechEx Show! Santa Clara 2018. Santa Clara Convention Centre, Santa Clara, California, US, 2018 Nov.

Invited workshop/ research exhibitor, Green Great Britain Week, Imperial Fringe. Organised by Imperial College Academic Partnerships, 2018 Oct.

Invited exhibitor, The Best of Enterprise Week 2018Organised by Imperial College Business School, 2018 Apr.

Invited exhibitor, Imperial Fringe: Walking in the Air. Organised by Imperial College Academic Partnerships, 2017 Dec.

Contributor, Latitude Festival/ ‘Power of Plants’. Organised by Dr Colette Matthewman et al. of OpenPlant, John Innes Centre and University of Cambridge, 2016 Jun.

Contributor, Science Museum Tim Peake themed event ‘Algae in Space. Organised by Dr. Patrik Jones Group, Imperial College, 2015 Dec.


Emre Ozer, Anand Savanth, ARM Ltd, Printed electronics, bioelectronics, biophotovoltaics, 2018 - 2019

R&D, Headquater, Kyoto, Japan, Sun Chlorella Corporation, Designing of future food supplements, 2017

Dr Paolo Bombelli and Prof Chris J. Howe, University of Cambridge, Biophotovoltaic research, 2013

Guest Lectures

Algaerium Bioprinter and Algae Printing for 'Shaping the future' 2017 cycle conference, L’École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD), Paris, France, 2017

Speaker at the Syn.De.Bio Symposium, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, The Royal Ear Hospital, 21 Capper Street, London WC1E 2QG, 2014

Sustain Talks 3.6: Algae: Green Gold (Speakers also include: Brenda Parker, Julia Lohmann), Royal College of Arts, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU, 2014

Bioindustry Programme: Printed superfood (Marin Sawa) and our (in)visible membrane (Sonja Bäumel), Mediamatic, Dijkspark 6, 1019 BS Amsterdam, 2014