Company history

Kinome means “eye of the tree” in Japanese.
Nature and its huge open-air research laboratory inspire Kinome. It helps us to identify solutions to the problems of our time. That is a natural idea, since trees lived through 380 million years of evolution, against just one million years for humans.

Kinomé also means “bud” in Japanese. It is part of the budding of a new economy that gives natural resources – especially trees – their full and deserved place. A budding new way in education, reconnecting children (and their parents) with nature.

The Founder

nicolasKinome was founded in 2005 by Nicolas Métro.
For 20 years he worked for big corporations in France and abroad, holding marketing and general management positions.
In 2005, when following a Master program for the Development of Ethical Leadership with the firm Research & Evolution, he “reconnected with his family DNA”. Or he went “back to his roots”, you could say, since both his grandfathers were foresters. Nicolas then decided to devote himself to the forest. From the start his ambition was clear: make the tree a valuable solution in development and spread this idea to the greatest number, to reverse the trend of deforestation.
Kinomé is a company whose mission is of general interest: it is a “social business” or “business with a societal vocation.”

The company

  1. Since 2005, Kinomé has a highly skilled and committed multidisciplinary team, allowing it to diversify its activities and deploy projects on five continents.
  2. After obtaining the status of Young Innovative Company (Jeune Entreprise Innovante (JEI) in 2007, Kinome was recognized by the Ethic’Evolution© label and became a member of the Ashoka network, a network of more than 3,000 social entrepreneurs worldwide.
  3. Kinomé runs a network of 200 people involved in the projects it pilots. It also coordinates the international reforestation movement Forest&Life with over 10,000 members, from individuals to international institutions and businesses through NGOs, scientists and schools.
  4. And Kinomé is involved in the Laboratory of Excellence or Labex BASC (Biodiversity, Agrosystems, Society, Climate), with 500 scientists working in 13 laboratories, in collaboration with major groups and SMEs.

Biomimetics, the origin of Kinomé

The concept biomimetics or of biomimicry consists in “artificially reproducing the essential properties of one or more biological systems.” There are many examples, from the lotus leaf inspiring self-cleaning surfaces, from the termitary inspiring buildings able to autoregulate their inside temperature. Biomimicry is at the origin of Kinomé. It means “eye of the tree” in Japanese, so our approach is truly rooted in the observation, study and appreciation of the forest.


At Kinome, biomimetics play a key role in several ways.

Our multi-partner approach, braking with the traditional silos of reforestation (eg. farmers against foresters, environment against economy). It is directly inspired by the great partnerships set up by the trees over the millennia. The symbiotic association of mycorrhiza, the mycelium of a fungus, with tree roots is a good illustration. They prolong the roots, to help them pump up water from deeper under the surface, in exchange for sugar produced by the roots.

Our approach to de-multiplication, based on the reproduction of what works while enriching what we do not yet know, through research and ongoing exchange. It draws on tree reproduction, both sexual (to mix the DNA and adapt to a changing environment without moving) and asexual (to ensure large-scale reproduction in difficult conditions). This approach is also at the base of the international reforestation movement Forest & Life created by Kinome in 2010.