Innovative activity is more or less inherent for any production company as one of the fundamental factors of effectiveness in a competitive environment. Economic and political aspects of the present time impose demands on the knowledge-intensive and technologically complex products, such as power-generating equipment. The products’ obsolescence, change of requirements of consumers and behavior of participants of the market sooner or later necessitate the development of new types of production and production technologies, application of new approaches to organizing the processes in the internal and external environment of the company. Competitive conditions in the international markets also force the enterprises to increase efficiency of their activity. Special measures have to be taken and conditions have to be created for ensuring the required level of product competitiveness and, as a result, economic efficiency of the manufacturing company. Innovative activity can ensure long-term competitiveness. The problem of knowledge management is equally urgent. R&D is an important method of a company’s scientific and technical development. The article considers management of innovative activity in scientific and production companies. Knowledge-intensive types of equipment require the most financial resources and have to be developed using a variety of government assistance. We present an overview of state regulation and support approaches in the USA, China, Russian Federation and European countries with respect to innovations in power engineering as one of the most high-tech industries. We have also analyzed the international experience of the participation of public authorities in determining the priority technologies and providing the conditions for implementation of R&D and creation of new equipment.