The number of venture capital deals in Europe is declining this year, but the size of deals is increasing according to new data from Ernst & Young and VentureOne, which is part of Dow Jones.

The number of deals in the first half of 2007fell to 436 in the first six months of this year. That’s down from 504 in the same time period in 2006.

However, the value of the deals totaled 2.25.billion Euros vs. 2.29 billion Euros in 2006.

As of Friday, a Euro was worth $1.37 in dollars.

In 2006, 969 venture deals were made in Europe, down from 1,228 in 2005.

Information technology companies have drawn the most interest so far this year with 138 deals totaling 690 million Euros.

Early stage deals jumped, drawing 600 million Euros in 126 deals.

Overall, nearly 60 percent of the venture deals in the second quarter were seed, first or second round investments.

The median for all deals jumped 41 percent to 3.1 million Euros, which is a record, according to E&Y and VentureOne.

"The record median round size in Europe this quarter is the continuation of a trend that we have observed over the last 18 months in which investors are providing greater sums to fewer companies, allowing those companies to better compete globally and build critical mass for an IPO or M&A," said John De Yonge, research director for the Ernst & Young Global Venture Capital Advisory Group. "During the same period, the proportion of deals and euros directed to early-stage investments has increased, indicating that European investors are supporting a healthy pipeline of innovation in emerging sectors such as clean technology."