The Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training (GREAT) network (a pan European science driven research infrastructure) is supporting the community exploitation of ESA’s Gaia “cornerstone” astronomy mission. Gaia is now in routine operations, with first data releases in 2016. The rich data from Gaia will enable profound advances in the study of the Milky Way and the Cosmos. The conference highlighted GREAT network research activities, including that from GREAT PhD students, undertaken in the development and commission phases of Gaia. Topics ranged from the structure and formation of the Milky Way as a whole, to the study of asteroids in our Solar System, topical presentations on the status of Gaia, and new results from the earliest mission data.