Many people believe that if you have a good project and write a good application that it will score high and you will be awarded grants or incentives.
But there is more to it than that. The members of the REDC and the staff at ESD needs to be made aware of the unique advantages of your project. Having an ongoing discussion with them before, during and after your submission allows them to ask questions; helps you refine your request to meet the REDC strategic goals and helps you understand how your project might fit into the “bigger picture” thinking of various REDC members who will be instrumental in promoting the projects they believe in.
After the REDC members score your application it goes to the government agency in charge of the funds you have requested, and it is not possible to directly speak with those individuals. But you can clearly understand the needs of the agency and what they are looking for in projects that will fulfill their needs and goals. I often tell clients you need to write your application in such a way that a politician or agency official can tout the goals of your project as they cut the ribbon.
So make sure you are reaching out and connecting with key REDC members and ESD staff and that you understand the goals and objectives of the agency that will do the final scoring of your application.