An Edinburgh space marketing company executive has scooped an award named after the famous science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke.

Daria Filichkina, chief operating officer of AstroAgency, which works to promote the space sector, received the Individual Achievement Award at the annual Sir Arthur Clarke Awards.

The Ukrainian businesswoman, who fled the war in her country with her son and mother to settle temporarily in the UK, was honoured at a gala dinner in London.

Her company recently passed the 50-client mark, promotes companies across the global space value chain, from satellite manufacturers, rocket launch companies and spaceports.

It also works with satellite data analysts applying information from space to multiple challenges on Earth, such as the early detection of wildfires, identifying illegal fishing and mining, tracking ice shelf changes, and monitoring endangered species.

Daria drove across Europe to Scotland with her son to escape the Russian invasion, and has since built a Ukrainian Businesswomen network in Scotland.

She raised money for displaced Ukrainians overseas and supported the construction of a bomb shelter for a Ukrainian nursery, whilst also taking on dual mentorship roles to help guide students into the UK space industry.

AstroAgency, which still has team members based in Ukraine, was established in 2019 by space entrepreneur Daniel Smith and supports both commercial and government clients with strategic communication infused with space sector market knowledge.

The team includes a technical department to help interpret and shape complex client propositions and works with space companies such as Spire Global, Euroconsult, ClearSpace and Leaf Space.

The firm has developed a strong reputation internationally as well as within the UK, supporting government-funded projects with the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre UK, RAL Space, Satellite Applications Catapult and multiple Scottish Government enterprise agencies, as well as the National Space Science Association of Bahrain, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and both Swiss and Australian government bodies.

Last year, the company co-authored and promoted the world’s first national space sustainability strategy for industry-led group Space Scotland, in line with one of its core values to help support the global commercial space industry to develop in an environmentally conscious fashion.

Filichkina, who received the Individual Space Achievement award at a gala dinner in Liverpool on Friday evening, said: “I may have been given this incredible honour due to my support of the UK’s fast-growing commercial space sector, but in reality it is the industry that has supported me.

“When you are forced to leave your home, husband and family due to bombing and violence, your life is completely turned upside down and suddenly your focus is on keeping your family safe and positive. In such a situation, work is the only ‘normal’ thing you have left. This award is dedicated to our hardworking ‘Astro Agents’, the partners that kept faith in us and the friends I have in the space community who reached out and kept me positive.”