October 18, 2023

Institut Imagine is one of the 7 Innovation Ambassadors 2023, selected from 84 initiatives in 24 entities.

Discover the project through an interview with Marina Fahy-Ruiz, BNP Paribas Cardif, Impact & Innovation Department Philanthropy in France.


Introduce yourself briefly: 

I started at BNP Paribas Cardif in 2002 as an experienced digital project manager. Over the course of my career, I have grown in various fields (Risks, Knowledge Management, New Ways of Working, CSR). Every step of the way, the common theme has been transformation and change management projects. This naturally led me to join the Impact & Innovation Department in 2022. My mission was to advance Philanthropy in France and have a greater impact on society.  

Philanthropy is “a state of mind that leads to action” and perfectly reflects my passion: Taking action to support causes of public interest!  

In my personal life, I also have a penchant for acting, especially actions that strengthen social bonds. I also value moments of solitude where I create to escape (I wrote and published a book during a career break abroad). I play sports to relax and go to the theatre to indulge! 


Tell us about your project: what is it about and how it came about?


In February 2023, we entered a 3-year sponsorship partnership with the Institut Imagine, the first European center for research, care, and education on genetic diseases. Genetic diseases are a significant threat to public health, affecting 3 million people in France, 35 million in Europe, and 350 million worldwide.  

Our partnership aims to back the Institut Imagine Springboard program, and in doing so, support medical research and advance breakthroughs in innovative therapeutic approaches.  

Springboard is an accelerator that focuses on treating genetic diseases through the creation of start-ups. BNP Paribas Cardif is supporting three research projects with the potential to change the lives of patients and their families. These projects are all ground-breaking in their respective fields, ushering in a new era of innovation. 

o    The “Hermès” project: Development of a molecule extracted from cacao to fight against certain bone growth anomalies.  

o    The “Children’s Pain” project: Treatment of pain in various skin diseases by a strategy of repositioning molecules and medications. 

o    The “IMAG2” project: Development of a 3D modelling technique which uses AI technology to not only better prepare the surgical strategy but also better explain the procedure to child patients and their families.  

Furthermore, our objective is to promote the Institut Imagine and shine a light on its important work. One way to help families affected by genetic diseases is to let them know that Imagine is out there. With this in mind, we have launched various initiatives with our employees, our partners, and our policyholders. 

We aim to establish a partnership with a holistic 360-degree perspective. Our goal with the Institut Imagine is to be a partner they can count on. In addition to funding, we are committed to offering the support and expertise needed to help them achieve their mission.  


What did you find most striking/surprising during this project? 


Since the signing, we've undertaken numerous actions to support the Institut Imagine in its missions and projects.  

Getting involved in such a meaningful and inspirational serve as the perfect driver for employee commitment. Our partnership is woven into every aspect of the company. Our employees feel like they are making a difference. This cause resonates with them and gives meaning to their actions. A feeling of pride shines through with each presentation of the Institut Imagine. Through this partnership, we are more than ever embracing our role as an insurance provider. 


What advice would you give to employees who also want to innovate?  


Innovation means working together to both create and put into action! It involves rallying a team with a rich diversity of stakeholders to explore diverse viewpoints and approach challenges from a new perspective. 

Our partnership thrives and grows stronger through this collective mindset, as all our departments come together to take actions at their own levels, helping families affected by genetic diseases. 

I really like the phrase "It's not the idea that makes the idea, but the team, as they are the ones working to turn the idea into reality!" 


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